A female giant panda cub weighing only 42.8 grams, about the weight of an average chicken egg and the world's lightest ever, was born in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, local authorities said today.
The cub and her twin sister were born to giant panda Chengda on Tuesday at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
Chengda went into labor at 9am and gave birth to the first cub at around 2pm.
"After the big sister was born, the mother panda was calm, and had some food as normal. We all thought there was only this fat baby. Then this small baby came out around 6pm," said Wu Kongju, director of animal management department of the base.
The birth weight of the cub, named Chengfeng was less than one-fourth that of her sister Chenglang, which weighed 171.9 grams, and it measured only two-thirds as long as her sister, according to the base.
"I was taken aback when I saw it. It was too small. Then I wondered why it was so small while the sister that big," said Wu.
The base said the cub is now in stable condition, thanks to round-the-clock care from researchers at the base.
Before the cub's birth, the world's lightest panda cub was Wuyi, weighing 51 grams when he was born in 2006 at the Chengdu research base. Wuyi now weighs 132 kilograms.
As of November 2018, a total of 284 giant panda cubs have been born at the Chengdu research base with a survival rate of 98 percent.