Higher Biology - Physiology and Health

Yang Guang and Tian Tian at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

Urine samples are analysed from Tian Tian to try to establish her fertile period, whether mating or artificial insemination has been successful and when or if the embryo has implanted.

Female giant pandas usually breed from about 5 years old and males from about 7 years. If successful the fertilised egg divides into a ball of cells called a blastocyst. The blastocyst does not immediately implant in the uterus but is maintained in a state of dormancy until implantation takes place. This is known as delayed implantation or embryonic diapause.