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Which EDGE mammal interests you more: The giant panda or the greater bamboo lemur ? (poll)

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 16 Jan 2021.

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Which mammal interests you more: The giant panda or the greater bamboo lemur?

Poll closed 30 Jan 2021.
  1. greater bamboo lemur

    91.2%
  2. giant panda

    8.8%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Another poll in a series for zoochatters to vote for one of two EDGE mammal species. This time the giant panda and the greater bamboo lemur.

    Both are the only mammals with feeding ecologies as obligate specialists of bamboo ,both are threatened by habitat destruction and climate change and both could be considered as charismatic though only one is iconic and is in fact the poster child of wildlife conservation.

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    Which of these mammal species interests you most / will you vote for ?

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the species you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!


    Photo credits to @Therabu
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2021
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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  3. The Cassowary

    The Cassowary Well-Known Member

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    The greater bamboo lemur is a lesser-known animal, and one I don’t think I’ve ever seen in person (do any zoos in the US even keep this species?). Plus I just like lemurs in general, and I think giant pandas are kind of overrated. I think the greater bamboo lemur deserves some more attention.
     
  4. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    While I do enjoy seeing giant pandas, I personally am way more interested in greater bamboo lemurs. I have never seen one before, and I love lemurs, Madagascar fauna, and primates in general. And, they are critically endangered, whereas giant pandas have just been moved over to vulnerable. While they look aesthetically pleasing, I much more prefer the similar markings of a Malayan tapir, and I remember my first impression of giant pandas being that they are rather boring.
     
  5. Carlos M

    Carlos M Well-Known Member

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    I voted for the Greater Bamboo Lemur. I think that most of Madagascar fauna is at very high risk of going extinct. And considering that keeping Pandas is very expensive, and they are not as endangered as they used to be, I think the lemur would benefit the most.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply @The Cassowary !

    Yes, I agree, it is very poorly known indeed and particularly when compared to the giant panda which is known throughout the world and significantly more endangered than the panda too.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the vote and comment @ChunkyMunky pengopus !

    Absolutely agree that the lemur is far greater need in terms of its conservation and also share the opinion that pandas are rather boring (even so hope they might get a couple of votes in the poll).
     
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  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the vote and comment @Carlos M !

    Yes, I think you are right about the high extinction risk of Malagasy fauna, there is also high extinction risk in China but of course such threats will not apply to the panda which I don't believe will ever stop being kept by zoos due to the iconic status.
     
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  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    @Valentin Thanks for your vote !

    Your vote is quite interesting, I know you to be someone with a huge interest in primates so have to ask out of curiosity why the giant panda ?
     
  10. Valentin

    Valentin Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, the panda vote was actually a mistake. I wanted to change afterwards but it did not work a priori.

    Being passionate about primates, I logically vote for the bamboo lemur. A primate will always win for me.
    Pandas are interesting but having seen them often in Beauval now makes them less attractive to me.

    Sorry.:D
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    No worries :) , I was kind of interested in the why of the panda vote but it makes sense that it was a mistake given your interest in primates.
     
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  12. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I generally find threads of this type extremely difficult to answer because both species are extremely interesting, albeit in different ways.

    The giant panda, though, has a fascinating taxonomic history. Although now considered to be a bear and thus a member of the family Ursidae, for much of my life it was considered to be more closely related to raccoons (family Procyonidae) or the red panda (family Ailuridae) than to bears.

    Because of its intriguing taxonomic history, I voted for giant panda as the more interesting species
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the vote and comment @Tim May ! It has added a bit of nuance to the poll so much appreciated ! :)

    Yes, I agree, it is a fascinating species with a fascinating taxonomic and evolutionary history.

    I remember reading the brilliant essay "the pandas thumb" by Stephen Jay Gould and finding the animal far more interesting as a result than I had before when seeing the rather dull and sluggish animals at Chapultepec.

    That said though it is no fault of the panda but rather of its success as an icon and symbol I do feel far more cynical about the history of the conservation of the species and "pandanomics".
     
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  14. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    Giant pandas are quite interesting species, they have fascinating lifestyles, and are very interesting looking as an animal. But for some reason even when I was younger than I am now I'm not much of a Giant Panda enthusiast. They never interested me to the point that I would be dying to see one in a zoo, I guess its because of their over saturation in the market and popularity that sort of turns me down, because I know people who absolutely adore Giant pandas. Also their not as endangered as they used to be and their population Is somewhat stable as of now, of course that can change however.
    Greater bamboo lemurs are much more interesting, because like other lemurs they are restricted to Madagascar, and are also restricted to consuming one Diet choice, Madagascar giant bamboo, and many questions are still to be answered about their diet. Their also one of the Worlds most endangered primates, and living in highly interesting social groups.

    So yeah, Greater bamboo lemurs are much more interesting in my Opinion.
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the vote and comment @CheeseChameleon2007 !

    Yes, I feel that there is probably an element of the commercialism and ubiquity / oversaturation of the image of the panda in popular culture that puts me off too.

    Again, yes, very interesting ecology of the greater bamboo lemur, they are indeed quite a mysterious species and absolutely a very endangered one and far more threatened / at risk of extinction than the panda.
     
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  16. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Indeed I remember reading "The Panda's Thumb" too.

    I first became interested in giant panda taxonomy many decades ago when I read "Men and Pandas" (Desmond & Ramona Morris; 1966). In that volume, Desmond Morris provides a very interesting synopsis of giant panda taxonomy, explaining the arguments for both the "bear school" and the "raccoon school". Morris sided with the "raccoon school" although, of course, that book is more than half-a-century old so it lacks the benefit of more recent scientific research.
     
  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Never knew that Morris had written a book on pandas too but doesn't suprise me as he has written numerous books and wasn't he the one who brought the panda chia chia to London from Moscow too ?
     
  18. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    "Men and Pandas" was one of a series of three books Desmond Morris wrote with his wife Ramona; the other two were "Men and Apes" and "Men and Snakes".

    Morris accompanied London Zoo's female giant panda "Chi-Chi" to Moscow in the unsuccessful attempt to get it to mate with Moscow Zoo's male giant panda "An-An". (Subsequently "An-An" spent a while in London Zoo.)
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that @Tim May !

    I remember reading something about it in his autobiography when he went to the Soviet Union and has to deal with all of the espionage (but did so in good humour evidently).

    I guess I will try to find some of these books second hand to read at some point.

    I think it is incredible that all these decades later Morris is still writing books and unravelling ethnozoological relationships / history between humans and other animal species.

    I know that he recently wrote a couple of books for the Reaktion "Animal" series, have you read any of these by the way ?
     
  20. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I read, and enjoyed, Desmond Morris's book "Bison" in the Reaktion series but haven't yet read any of his other books in that series.

    (Digressing from the main topic of this thread, Morris's bison book covers both American and European bison; this book also includes a fascinating chapter about the prehistoric cave paintings that depict bison.)