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NATIONAL ZOO: Mei Xiang and Tian Tian tried to mate
January 18, 2009 8:09 PM   Subscribe

"Because competent mating did not occur," the zoo statement said, veterinarians anesthetized both pandas on Saturday, collected semen from Tian Tian and inserted it into Mei Xiang's uterus. [previously 1 2 3]
posted by kliuless (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I read anesthetized as euthanized :(
posted by I Foody at 8:14 PM on January 18, 2009 [26 favorites]




Not a big fan of the darwinism tag. Is it "darwinism" when humans utterly destroy the Giant Panda's home, poach the crap out of them, and otherwise neglect their species until it's practically too late?

If we can use our non-Darwinian methods to save them, so be it.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:21 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I read anesthetized as euthanized :(


Me too, I couldn't figure out if they were just doing it out of spite or if there was some valid scientific reason I wasn't quite grasping.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:26 PM on January 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


That's what she said, amirite!
posted by swift at 8:27 PM on January 18, 2009


It's Darwinism when the pandas strap a jet engine to a 1967 Chevy Impala and then crash it into the side of a cliff while attempting to set a new land speed record, though.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:27 PM on January 18, 2009


It's Darwinism when the pandas strap a jet engine to a 1967 Chevy Impala and then crash it into the side of a cliff while attempting to set a new land speed record, though.

no, that's lamarckism - an explosion like that's got to leave lamarck
posted by pyramid termite at 8:30 PM on January 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


Not a big fan of the darwinism tag. Is it "darwinism" when humans utterly destroy the Giant Panda's home, poach the crap out of them, and otherwise neglect their species until it's practically too late?

Uh, yes.
posted by Electrius at 8:31 PM on January 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


Maybe they mean that it's "darwinism" because the panda's irresistible cuteness is an evolutionary trait that is serving the pandas quite well. We go so far just because we want *more* pandas.

The dodos weren't cute, and look what we did to them. I bet no one would try to artificially inseminate a dodo.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:39 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The fittest is us.
posted by smackfu at 8:39 PM on January 18, 2009


Next time somebody asks why I don't have kids, I'm telling them it's because I've never mated competently.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 8:46 PM on January 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I bet no one would try to artificially inseminate a dodo.

I think you're seriously underestimating what people would try to do to come up with the new big hit reality show contest.
posted by Iosephus at 8:46 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


well i would count assisted insemination as darwinism too :P i am broad minded that way; lamarckism at work!
posted by kliuless at 8:48 PM on January 18, 2009


Not a big fan of the darwinism tag. Is it "darwinism" when humans utterly destroy the Giant Panda's home, poach the crap out of them, and otherwise neglect their species until it's practically too late?

It is darwinisim of another kind. Mark my words--the defining thing that will be of evolutionary advantage will be looking cute to us. Because we won't kill them then. Hence the "sea kitten" PETA thing.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:59 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it "darwinism" when etc

Looks like they've been out-competed to me.
posted by pompomtom at 9:04 PM on January 18, 2009


Ironmouth is exactly right. Having a girlfriend who really loves pandas, and there having watched countless hours of these mostly (very) clumsy animals who only eat one type of plant and literally hate have sex, I can't stop myself from believing that they've been doomed all along. The fact that they're effing adorable will keep them around forever.
posted by pkingdesign at 9:08 PM on January 18, 2009


"Because competent mating did not occur," the zoo statement said, veterinarians anesthetized both pandas on Saturday...

Veterinarians poised to descend on young people starting tomorrow, erectile dysfunction incidence expected to skyrocket, awkward fumblings expected to continue in cars everywhere.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:13 PM on January 18, 2009


competent mating did not occur

What a horrible phrase. Imagine being the poor bastard who rolls over to their partner and asks, "So, how was it for you?" only to get the reply, "Competent mating did not occur."
posted by Neale at 9:27 PM on January 18, 2009 [14 favorites]


competent mating did not occur

Hardly surprising, considering that Mei Xiang translates as "Do Not Want".
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:30 PM on January 18, 2009


Imagine being the poor bastard who rolls over to their partner and asks, "So, how was it for you?" only to get the reply, "Competent mating did not occur."

Story of my life.

My only hope is that the fertility technicians in the black helicopters will correctly read their instructions as "anesthetize" rather than "euthanize" when they come to steal my sperm.
posted by Forktine at 9:39 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read anesthetized as euthanized :(

Me three! And now I can't stop laughing at myself.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:39 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mark my words--the defining thing that will be of evolutionary advantage will be looking cute to us.

Corollary: ugliness will coincide with remarkable adaptations. Exhibit A: The naked mole rat is impervious to pain, eusocial, subterranean, and looks like this.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:48 PM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hardly surprising, considering that Mei Xiang translates as "Do Not Want".

Yeah, but Tian Tian could just as easily be 填填 - 'Fill 'er up.'

I translated subtitles for a documentary about panda rescue efforts a few years back, and ended up coming to the conclusion that God just doesn't want pandas to exist. They're too dumb to have sex, and then if they do manage to have sex, they're mostly unable to conceive, and then if they do conceive they miscarry, and then even if they don't miscarry they'll roll over on their babies, crushing them.

Time to start trying harder, pandas.
posted by bokane at 10:38 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read anesthetized as euthanized :(

Make that four of us, now. I was really appalled for a moment, there.
posted by davejay at 11:17 PM on January 18, 2009


The word "anesthetized" is probably superfluous anyway. I mean, I didn't assume they sent Jim Fowler in there with a rubber glove and stack of panda-porn.
posted by RavinDave at 11:22 PM on January 18, 2009


"Mei Xiang and Tian Tian were separated immediately after the insemination, and will be kept in separate enclosures for the next few months"

Sounds like my brother in law.



Oblig.

Except, I can sort of see it. Pandas. F'em. Deserve has nothing to do with life on earth.
I don't mind efforts to save them really, but - is it human to not respect a species you feel no empathy for?
I don't even really think they're cute.

I remember seeing footage of a tiger in a trap in India. He (or she) was in a tiger pit, paw caught in a tight noose on a strong wire the tiger would never be able to chew through in time, surrounded by men with spears and rifles who still feared him (or her).
And it's back was to the camera. Whomever had the rifle was with the cameraman. They closed in, but they were still at a good distance (within zoom focus and rifle range obviously).
Above the din of the spearmen and trappers and workers shouting the tiger turned to look at the camera and you just knew it saw death coming. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on it's face. Ferocity certainly. But it burned with life. You could see the passion for life in it's eyes. And it bared it's teeth and roared. Good marksman, it died instantly.

I respect all life, but if it comes to it, I'd rather save a tiger than a panda. At least you know they want to be here.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:48 PM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: because competent mating did not occur.
posted by Soliloquy at 12:27 AM on January 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't know. Incompetent mating is fun sometimes too. I mean, who hasn't had the urge to spill one's seed on some artificial rocks while a crowd watches?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:28 AM on January 19, 2009


Nom Nom Nom Nom*SNEEZE*

Oh, Pandas.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 1:50 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Get your rocks on!
posted by mannequito at 3:07 AM on January 19, 2009


I, too, read "euthanized" at first.

What is wrong with us?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:02 AM on January 19, 2009


I also misread "euthanized". There is a bit of dark-comedy reward if you proceed to imagine a group of government biologists standing around, scratching their heads and wondering what they did wrong.

Giant pandas, which are endangered in the wild, mate for only one or two days a year, and scientists believe there is only one day each year when a female panda is able to conceive.

I took it for granted that's what the Darwinism was about.
posted by Bokononist at 4:51 AM on January 19, 2009


Is the Catholic church behind this? Because maybe they just wanted to have sex for fun and not have kids.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:12 AM on January 19, 2009


God I swear! You would think that the only woman for miles theory would apply here. BUT NOOOOO Mugu Gypan the panda won't make sweet sweet love sweet and sour chicken. These zoo panda sex experts should be fired! If bar hopping has taught us anything, it is people of the opposite sex look better when drunk. Give them a box of wine and a 12 pack then see what happens.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:08 AM on January 19, 2009


Pandas are stupid. Especially the ones at the DC zoo.

I've covered this before.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:17 AM on January 19, 2009


Having a girlfriend who really loves pandas, and there having watched countless hours of these mostly (very) clumsy animals who only eat one type of plant and literally hate have sex, I can't stop myself from believing that they've been doomed all along.

It's worse than that.

In addition to hardly ever having sex, and most of the time when they do not doing it right, and most of the time when they do do it right not conceiving, and most of the time when they conceive miscarrying, and most of the time when they carry to term killing their infants through stupidity, pandas are like someone made a ranked list for them of all the things they might eat, with nutritional information, appropriateness for their digestive system, availability, and so on. And they chose the single worst possible thing for them to eat, as the only thing they would ever eat.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:34 AM on January 19, 2009


Panda rape. In japan there is a magazine and in german there is a word. I know this.
posted by srboisvert at 8:44 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Because competent mating did not occur" is my new excuse for everything now
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 AM on January 19, 2009


Yeah, count me in on the panda dismissal here. They're pretty cute, but does anyone really believe they're not doomed? And of all the things we could be concerned about, like for example every goddamn species of fish, we've all got a huge boner for the panda? The panda? That nothing eats? That eats nothing but bamboo itself? A, granted, cute and furry animal, but one that barely participates in the ecosystem at all, and would probably be doomed even if we gave them all of China to live in, and free bamboo and panda porn 24/7? These things can't find their own panda-holes with two adorable paws and a flashlight. Come on.
posted by rusty at 11:33 AM on January 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


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