Sci-tech

Why pandas are black and white revealed in new study

Why pandas are black and white revealed in new study

For example, dark ears convey a sense of ferocity, as a warning to predators.; whereas the dark eye patches allow pandas to recognize each other. Although there have been many theories surrounding the mammal's fur, none of the could account for the fact that the panda is the only bear species who has this unique feature.

Scientists have found out that the black patches of a panda are not always black for the same reason.

"Understanding why the giant panda has such striking coloration has been long-standing problem in biology that ha been hard to tackle because virtually no other mammal has this appearance, making analogies hard", explained lead author Tim Caro, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, in the statement.

However, black and white markings are rarely seen in nature. This plant isn't particularly packed with nutrients, and that means pandas have to forage in different areas if they want to keep eating.

The giant panda's graphic pattern has stumped biologists for years. now they have an answer.

Now scientists have a better idea of why pandas have this distinctive pattern, and it could all come down to the lengths the poor old animal has to go to just to get enough to eat.


Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and California State University, Long Beach have published a research paper detailing the reason behind distinct black and white color pattern of giant pandas. Pandas rely heavily on a vegetarian diet (bamboo shoots) which may be plentiful in their habitat but it isn't exactly the easiest meal to digest. Now when you look at a panda, it may seem that the poor animal is fat but unfortunately the panda still can not store enough fat to get them through the harsh winter months. The color pattern of panda helps it in hiding easily, the research team informed.

To find out why pandas have unqiue patches, scientists treated each of the body parts as an independent area.

The study suggests that dual colouration helps them in their year-round travel across different habitat types, "from snowy mountains, to tropical forests".

They concluded that the marking are used to communicate.

Those soulful panda eyes were hypothesised to help the animals communicate with one another, or perhaps serve as a way to signal aggression to a competitor, while their ears could perform similar "stay away, I'm angry" signalling to predators.

Researchers went through thousands of images and studied a minimum of 20 colors over more than 10 areas of the animal's body. Scientists had earlier thought that zebras have two colors to camouflage from predators, but new research found this belief to be erroneous. Pandas are very sweet and seem playful.


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