What a Precious Bei Bei! Panda Cub Grows Up (Photos)

The baby giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo now has a name: Bei Bei (BAY-BAY), which means "precious treasure," a nod to his sister's name, Bao Bao, which has the same meaning. Bei Bei has come a long way since he was born blind and deaf on Aug. 22. The images below show how the little panda has grown over the past month. [Read the full story on Bei Bei's naming ceremony]

Little guy

The Smithsonian's panda cam nabbed some footage of Bei Bei when his mother, Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) set him down on the den floor on Aug. 31, when he was just 10 days old. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Mom and cub

The panda cam shows Mei Xiang and her cub, Bei Bei, side by side in the den at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Pink and black

When Mei Xiang left her den to eat and drink on Sept. 5, zoo staff members gently picked up Bei Bei to weigh him and give him a quick medical checkup. They found that he weighed 14.4 ounces (409.6 grams). Veterinarians also listened to his heart and lungs, and said that both sounded normal. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Routine checkup

Mei Xiang left the den again on Sept. 8, allowing zoo staff to weigh Bei Bei once more. He had already gained weight since his last checkup, pushing the scale to 1.3 lbs. (601.8 g). (Image credit: Meghan Murphy | Smithsonian's National Zoological Park)

Snuggle time

Bei Bei slept most of the day on Sept. 13, which is typical for young cubs. Keepers noticed that he sleeps with his paw covering his eyes — a position his father, Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN), and sister Bao Bao also prefer. Mei Xiang left her den four times that day, and ate a pear (one of her favorite foods) for the first time since giving birth. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Check out those claws

Bei Bei weighed 1.9 lbs. (881.5 g) on Sept. 14, a medical checkup at the zoo found. (Image credit: Erika Bauer | Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Hand hug

A veterinary exam on Sept. 17 showed that Bei Bei measured 12.2 inches (31 centimeters) from head to tail. His right front leg was 4 inches (10 cm), and his right hind leg was 3.5 inches (9 cm) long. The cub has an excellent range of motion, and can push up onto his front legs, zoo workers said.

Zookeepers have seen him scooting around the den using his front legs, but he has yet to use all four to walk. (Image credit: Amy Enchelmeyer | Smithosonian's National Zoo)

Weighty panda

When he turned 4.5 weeks old on Sept. 21, Bei Bei weighed about 3 lbs. (1.4 kg). He now weighs more than his older siblings, Bao Bao and Tai Shan, weighed when they were his age. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The dignitaries

First ladies Michelle Obama of the United States and Peng Liyuan of the People's Republic of China, walked toward the panda habitat at Smithsonian's National Zoo for the panda's naming ceremony today (Sept. 25). (Image credit: Ralph Alswang | Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Naming ceremony

Third-grade students at the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School helped the first ladies by unfurling the scrolls to reveal the cub's name, Bei Bei. (Image credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

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Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.