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This Could Be The Reason Behind Black And White Appearance Of Pandas

Scientists decode why pandas are black and white. (Image courtesy: Google)

Great Pandas are some of the most iconic animals of the world. Not only they appears as cute, gentle animals but mostly because they have served as a kind of figurehead for endangered species.

Giant Panda has been over the list of most threatened animal for the longest time till September 2016.

This was the time when the Panda population in China increased by 17%. Though China where the species is local to, disagrees with the move, the panda is no longer considered in the red when it is coming to endangered animals.

Reason for Black and White color of Pandas:

One of the main reasons why giant pandas has garnered such interest is its black and white color. Scientists have been studying how exactly these bears got over the endangered species list in the first place.

It is in addition to citing factors like species inability to fend itself in the wild or lack of the survival instincts.

Tim Caro is professor from the University of California in Davis Wildlife Biology. He has studied why zebras have black and white strips and is appearing to have found the answer. It lies in the giant pandas famous black and white pattern.

Image courtesy: Google

Caro with his team of researchers from UC Davis and California State University – Long Beach has examined thousands of photos. These photos were of giant pandas for determining what is making them unique.

They focused over specific panda parts and answer became clear. Researcher found it difficult for comparing pandas, given that there were no similar species for measuring it against. There were practically no differences over how they look.

Team decided for treating each part of the panda as an independent area of study. They compared the fur in different parts of the giant panda’s body to the collaboration found in other animals.

They include 39 bear subspecies and 195 carnivorous species.

Comparison with other Creatures:

Researchers has concluded that the main function of the panda’s color and pattern it to conceal and protect itself from predators.

According to Caro, panda’s white face, neck, belly and rump are intended for hiding the animals in snow during the winter.

While the black arms and legs are working for disguising it among the shadows of the forest. This is quite important as unlike other bears, pandas don’t store enough fat in their bodies.

They only eat bamboos and don’t hibernate thus leaving them vulnerable to predators.

Black eyes and ears over the other hand are more for communication among the animals. Study is published in Behavioral Biology.

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