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Researchers reveal the reason behind Panda’s Interesting Color Pattern
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. The research team revealed that Pandas have black and white markings for camouflage and communication purposes. Pandas are very sweet and seem playful. They have been popular on social networks for their funny videos and images while they eat bamboo.
The research team published the details of their findings in the journal Behavioral Ecology. They had earlier revealed the reason behind stripes of zebra. The research team compared Panda fur to 39 bear subspecies and 195 carnivore species. The color pattern of panda helps it in hiding easily, the research team informed.
Panda has most part of its face, neck, belly and rump in white and this might help panda to hide in its snowy habitat. The arms and legs are black and this can help panda hide in shade, the research team informed in the paper published this week.
Pandas are active all year long as they aren’t able to store enough of fat to go on hibernation in winter. Panda has to travel long distance to find its favorite bamboo diet. The scientists suggest that this dual coloration stems from its poor diet of bamboo and inability to digest a broader variety of plants.
Study lead author Tim Caro, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology said, “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. The breakthrough in the study was treating each part of the body as an independent area.”
The research paper informed, “The markings on its head, however, are not used to hide from predators, but rather to communicate. Dark ears may help convey a sense of ferocity, a warning to predators. Their dark eye patches may help them recognize each other or signal aggression toward panda competitors.”
"This really was a Herculean effort by our team, finding and scoring thousands of images and scoring more than 10 areas per picture from over 20 possible colors," said co-author Ted Stankowich, a professor at CSU Long Beach.