Because I can’t help myself

The new baby panda at the San Diego Zoo gets a checkup.  He’s 43 days old and weighs 2.3 kg.  Eyes are still closed but the teeth are about to erupt.

And if you go to the San Diego Zoo’s Live PandaCam, you can see mom and cub interacting in real time.


  1. Posted September 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I remember some curmudgeonly article complaining that Panda’s are boring.

    Did he ever bother to notice that they don’t have to do anything at all to be incredibly cute? The cubs especially, of course.

    Glen Davidson

  2. jdhuey
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Awwww. Too, too cute for words.

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink


  4. Sili
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    But they are boring. I’m sure they don’t even taste good.

  5. Catnip
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Cute? You obviously haven’t heard this:

    Panda eats at a restaurant. As he gets up to leave, he pulls out a machine gun and mows down the clientele. Waiter just about manages to collect himself to ask: ‘What was that about?” Panda says, “I’m a Panda. Look it up!”

    And he does: Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Giant Panda, eats shoots and leaves.

    • Veronica Abbass
      Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Giant Panda, eats[,] shoots and leaves.

      This story/joke is from _Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation_ by Lynne Truss.

      It’s the incorrect comma after “eats” that makes the joke.

  6. NewEnglandBob
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Was that a hairball or couch fuzz?

  7. Marylyn
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I ask: what is the big deal with pandas? american disneyfied(?) “culture”? Seriously.

  8. Joshua Slocum
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Oh, don’t be such a gramp, Marylyn:) Baby squeeky Panda so cute. . .ima eat. it. up.

    I find it extraordinary that its eyes are still closed after 43 days. . .is that normal?

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes, absolutely. Pandas are born at an extraordinarily early stage of development, almost like some marsupials. The difference in weight between a panda mother and her newborn cub is the largest among all mammals.

      • Joshua Slocum
        Posted September 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for dispelling my ignorance, Jerry! I’m so used to reading about how humans are born so extraordinarily “prematurely,” and how much parental care this necessitates, it didn’t occur to me to think whether that might be true in other parts of the animal kingdom. And sheesh, I thought kittens were helpless – they’ve got nothing on Pandas.

      • Posted September 22, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        It’s interesting, the difference between altricial and precocial. Some animals can get up and stumble away from predators within minutes of birth; others seem hardly more than blobs of tissue. Like parrots. Infant parrots not cute!

  9. Wayward son
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, but Jerry – 1) I just noticed that WEIT is available as an audiobook at audible and 2) I also just noticed that it is not authorized for sale in my location (Canada). Of course, I have already read the book, but I would love to listen to it while doing cardio. Any idea as to if the audible book will become available in Canada?


  10. Seiryoden
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I’m impressed with their professionalism. At not one point did they pick it up and give it a big *squish*.

    Also I raise baby panda and give you baby seal from the good gals & guys at Vancouver’s MMRP:

  11. Marylyn
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    How is this to rekindle the discussion:
    “LONDON – Conservationists should “pull the plug” on giant pandas and let them die out, according to BBC presenter and naturalist Chris Packham.
    “Here’s a species that, of its own accord-giant pandas-, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac,” Packham told Radio Times magazine.Packham believes that money spent on conserving the panda would be better invested in other animals as the species is not strong enough to survive alone” “It’s not a strong species. Unfortunately it’s big and cute and it’s a symbol of the WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) — and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation,” he added.

    “I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity …”

    any comments???

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