Giant pandas in zoos may suffer from ‘jetlag’: study

Giant pandas in zoos may suffer from ‘jetlag’: study



Scientists believe that giant pandas living in captivity may suffer from “jetlag” – a disorder of biological rhythms that occurs in humans after crossing several time zones. This condition occurs in animals when their biological clock does not correspond to the environment. This affects the well-being and behavior of animals, which, in particular, are under threat of extinction. Scientists have published a corresponding study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, CNN reports. “Animals, like humans, have evolved rhythms that synchronize their internal environment with the external. When the internal clock is out of sync with external cues such as light and temperature, animals experience adverse effects. In humans, this can range from time zone changes to problems with metabolism and seasonal affective disorder,” said lead study author Christine Gandia, a graduate student at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Read also: The only one in the world. A unique albino panda was spotted in China. PHOTO Photo: leungchopan/Depositphotos Circadian rhythm is such a “clock” of the body that works in daily cycles and is regulated by signals from the environment. It is present in humans and animals, in particular in pandas, which have become participants in research by scientists at the University of Stirling. The circadian rhythm affects the metabolism, reproduction, and behavior of animals. In most animal species, the circadian “clock” is regulated by external environmental signals (light/dark cycle, food and temperature). However, in zoos, animals may be kept in areas where the light-dark cycle differs from their natural environment. Problems arise when the signals animals receive in captivity do not match the signals in their natural environment. To understand the consequences of this phenomenon for animals, scientists observed the behavior of giant pandas for a year. The team used surveillance footage from 6 zoos around the world, including outside the panda’s natural range. It turned out that changes in environmental conditions can affect circadian rhythms. Pandas living outside their natural latitudes were less active than those living in their native lands. The amount of daylight, temperature minimum and temperature range were also associated with activity cycles. “Although animals are highly adaptable, creating an environment in captivity that mimics the environmental conditions in which they evolved can promote naturalistic cycles that promote animal welfare and increase the chances of successful reproduction and species conservation,” the researchers emphasize. It will be recalled that earlier scientists learned to calculate the age of animals based on blood analysis. Read also: In South Korea, a panda gave birth to twin cubs for the first time. VIDEO



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