Sep 20, 2017 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Scientists Finally Able To Answer Why Pandas Have Black And White Patches On Their Body [Video]

Mar 06, 2017 03:19 AM EST

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World's oldest giant panda, Basi, dies in China
Study Reveals Why Pandas Are Black And White
(Photo : GeoBeats News/Youtube) Here's why giant pandas are black and white according to a new study.

The giant Panda which is commonly known as “The Eating machine” has some weird black and white patches on their body. In the new study, researchers are able to decode the mystery behind the unique patterns for the first time. However, there were so many theories but, no definitive and satisfactory explanations so far.

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A joint research team from University of California, Davis, and California State University, Long Beach has finally explained that pandas have black and white patches have two functions - camouflage and communication. Researchers published about their discovery in the journal of Behavioral Ecology.

Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology’s professor Dr.Tim Karo From University of California, Davis and lead researcher, said in his Journal,“Understanding why the giant panda has such striking coloration has been a long-standing problem in biology that has been difficult to tackle because virtually no other mammal has this appearance, making analogies difficult”. A giant panda belongs to the family of Bear but, no other bear species in the world has such kind of patterns in their body.

some areas of the panda were black instead of white, researchers noticed the black areas were not always black for the same reasons.For deeper and accurate studies, researchers applied some creative methods. According to I4U News, researchers divided the parts of panda’s body as per lighter and darker shades. After that, researchers compared those parts with 195 carnivore species and 39 relevant bear species.

By comparing with other species researchers found that the panda’s neck, face, rump, and belly have a white color to protect them from predators. Those white colored parts help them to hide in snow and the black colored body parts allow them to hide in shade.

As bamboo is their only diet, so they have to search for food all time. Their stomach doesn’t stay full for a long time because bamboo contains very few amount of nutrition values. Unlike other bears, panda doesn’t stay dormant during the winter. So, they always have to stay active throughout the year. In search of food, they used to travel the distance and different habitats ranging from snowy mountains to tropical forests.

Pandas not only use their patches as camouflage, they also use those to communicate each other. Dark spots on both eyes have a purpose of frightening the predators and the rings around their eyes help them to recognize each other.


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