Finally, researchers have discovered why pandas have developed this singularly weird habit – they’re marking their territory.
An upside-down panda can get his pee higher up a tree which allows him to spread his scent further afield and increase his chances during the limited mating window.
An endangered species, there are only around 1,600 pandas left in the world, and their natural terrain is under threat due to human developments and climate change. It’s therefore crucial that the males can make their presence known to mate as successfully as possible.
Pandas who live in China’s Qinling Mountains were observed when the call of nature took them, and it was discovered they choose the widest tree possible, ideally with a rough bark. The rough bark helps embed their scent into the tree, so that the musk lasts for longer, and a wider tree ensures a wider surface area for maximum odour spread.
It’s only the male pandas that do this handstand-peeing trick by the way – something to think about when their human counterparts can’t get manage to aim theirs into the bowl. Just sayin’.