Hua Mei was more than an adorable cub loved around the world. She was also an ambassador for her species, and a symbol of what could be accomplished when scientists, animal care specialists, and conservationists work together toward a common goal. In learning how giant pandas communicate through scent marking; tracking and charting a female panda's reproductive cycle and hormone changes; documenting the extent of a panda mother's fasting after giving birth; and following the developmental steps of a panda cub, researchers were able to make remarkable breakthroughs in unlocking some of the biological mysteries of one of the most loved yet least understood animals. Whew! That's a lot on the shoulders of one little panda. Good thing Hua Mei didn't know a thing about it, and only needed to concentrate on figuring out how to climb a tree and chew bamboo!