ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (6): 721-730.DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150477

• SCIENTIFIC NOTES • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A study on the relationship between oxytocin level and maternal behavior in captive giant pandas

WANG Ziye1,2, BI Wenlei2, WU Wei2, YU Jiaojiao2, ZHOU Yanshan2, HOU Rong2, XIANG Zuofu1, QI Dunwu2   

  1. 1 Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha 410004, China;
    2 Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Sichuan Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife, Chengdu 610081, China
  • Received:2020-09-29 Revised:2021-04-26 Online:2021-11-30 Published:2021-11-12


王子叶1,2, 毕温磊2, 吴蔚2, 余姣姣2, 周延山2, 侯蓉2, 向左甫1, 齐敦武2   

  1. 1 中南林业科技大学, 长沙 410004;
    2 成都大熊猫繁育研究基地, 四川省濒危野生动物保护生物学重点实验室, 成都 610081
  • 通讯作者: 向左甫,;齐敦武,
  • 作者简介:王子叶(1996-),硕士研究生,主要从事动物行为学方面的研究
  • 基金资助:

Abstract: Maintaining a good cub-rearing relationship is of great significance for the healthy development of newborn giant panda cubs. Oxytocin plays a key role in this cub-rearing relationship development during the breeding period. To investigate the relationship between oxytocin levels and maternal behavior, we sampled the maternal behavior of 6 adult female giant pandas (3 in lactation group, 3 in non-lactation group) at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding from June to September 2019 by using the focal sampling method, and tested the urine oxytocin level of each individuals by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results showed that the oxytocin levels were significantly higher in the lactation group (278. 86 pg/mg ±44. 42 pg/mg) than in the non-lactation group. For the two types of breastfeeding groups, the level of oxytocin in the multiparous female pandas (185. 64 pg/mg ±44. 61 pg/mg) was significantly lower than that in the primiparous female pandas (465. 30 pg/mg ±82. 39 pg/mg). Compared with the primiparous female pandas, the multiparous female pandas had more embracing cub behavior (77. 45% ±1. 24%) and feeding behavior (15. 22% ±1. 62%), but less licking cub (14. 26% ±0. 91%) and position adjustment behavior (1. 69% ±0. 29%). Finally, we found the licking cub behavior was significantly positively correlated with the oxytocin level in the lactation group, and the embracing cub behavior was significantly negatively correlated with the oxytocin level in the lactation group. The results indicate that primiparous female pandas show more maternal behavior, less individual behavior and higher oxytocin levels. The results of this study suggest that the different reactions of oxytocin in the two types of giant panda females may help to improve the refined and differentiated breeding techniques for captive giant pandas in the future.

Key words: Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), Maternal behavior, Oxytocin

关键词: 大熊猫, 母性行为, 催产素

CLC Number: