A new study by scientists from the University of Cambridge has revealed the most effective animal on Earth.
“We’re all familiar with giant mammals such as elephants, giraffes and lions,” said Dr Mark A. Wylie, a senior lecturer in animal sciences and co-author of the paper.
“But we’re only now beginning to discover the other animals on the world’s largest landmass.”
These other animals are just as powerful, and their species ranges are equally varied.
“A new study has revealed that giant panda and giant elephant are among the most efficient animals in the world.
Credit: Cambridge University Scientists have been studying giant pandas and giant elephants for more than a century, but only recently have scientists discovered their range.”
We don’t know much about the life of these animals, apart from their size,” Dr Wylies said.”
But we’ve managed to understand their behaviour and physiology using modern technology.
“The new study, published in the journal Current Biology, is based on satellite data collected by the Chinese agency, Xinhua.
The satellite data showed that the panda, which is found in the Chinese region of Gansu, has a population of about 1.6 million, and that it is the largest land animal in the country.”
There’s a real curiosity here about how big these animals really are,” said study co-lead Dr Andrew Jones, from the Centre for Ecological Research at the University’s School of Earth, Ocean and Environment.”
I think there’s a lot of excitement about their size, the fact that they live in remote, inaccessible areas.
“While the pandastans have a population in the area of 300,000, it is unclear if they are able to maintain this size in the wild.”
It’s a bit of a mystery, because they’re really big and really mobile,” Dr Jones said.
The study also looked at a group of giant pangolins known as the “elephant-elephant pair”.
They have been found in parts of South East Asia, where their range is limited by the presence of elephants.
While the elephants are known for their strength and stamina, the pair are also known for being more agile than their counterparts, according to the study.”
The elephant-elephants pair is more agile and they can swim,” Dr Andrew said.
However, while they are more agile, they do not appear to have the same range of abilities.”
They’re more like the big panda-elephan pair than they are like the giant pandan pair,” he said.
Although there are some notable differences between the pair, they are still very different animals, Dr Jones explained.”
When they’re living in the forest, they don’t have the ability to make big movements,” he explained.
They are also not the biggest, but they are certainly a big step up from the smaller panda species.”
What we’re seeing here is that the giant pandas are a good example of the difference between the big and small animals, because when they live far away from human populations they’re not as mobile,” he added.”
So you get this difference between their ability to survive and their ability of survival.
“This study was conducted in collaboration with Dr Andrew’s team, and was supported by the National Science Foundation.
More stories from the ABC’s wildlife series The Mighty Mammoth are:The mighty elephant and giant pandal bear, or the mighty giant and the giant elephant, are among Earth’s largest animals.
Credit to Andrew Jones.