Sunday, March 26, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Why do pandas have black and white fur ?


Posted on Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 | Comment icon 3 comments

What is the purpose of the panda's unusual black and white fur ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 jballeis
Scientists have come up with a new theory to explain the panda's distinctive monochrome coloration.
Mammals aren't particularly well known for their exotic fur coloration, mainly due to the fact that drab, earthly tones often help them to stay concealed either from predators or from prey.

Bears are a prime example, with most species exhibiting coloration to help them blend in to their surroundings. Polar bears are white for instance while grizzly bears have shaggy brown fur.

Pandas however are a different story altogether. Native to the remote mountainous regions of central China, these unusual creatures exhibit a distinct black and white fur coat which, in their dense forest home, might at first glance seem like an unusual choice for camouflage.

"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," said biologist Tim Caro.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, scientists at the University of California and California State University decided to divide up the panda's coloration in to independent areas and then compare them to similar areas of coloration found on 195 other species of mammals and bears.

Their findings suggested that the panda's black and white coat might actually serve two purposes.

Unlike other bears, pandas cannot hibernate, so their fur coat must help conceal them all year round - including when it snows in the winter.

Their black eyes and ears, in addition to serving as a warning to would-be predators, may also help individual pandas identify one another with each animal possessing a slightly different pattern.

"The breakthrough in the study was treating each part of the body as an independent area," said Caro. "It is always possible that a patch of fur has evolved for a different purpose than in other carnivores."

Source: Washington Post | Comments (3)

Tags: Panda


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by woopypooky on 7 March, 2017, 13:07
They evolved to black and white in order to look cute. They knew human had a thing for flurry and cuteness. Its for their species survival.
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 7 March, 2017, 16:44
Well we can add this discovery to when it was determined which color zebras were striped with. I can't remember as I didn't and still don't deem it important in the whole scheme of things.
Comment icon #3 Posted by taniwha on 8 March, 2017, 11:21
What's black and white, and hides in the shadows?


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5870757
252361
166353

 
Four-legged chicken hatches out in Brazil
3-26-2017
Despite having two additional limbs, the young chick, which wasn't expected to live, is doing quite well.
Hair salon is offering snake neck massages
3-25-2017
The Haar Mode Team salon in Dresden is offering customers a rather unique type of massage service.
'Ghost' causes a stir aboard USS Lexington
3-25-2017
Visitors to a popular attraction in Corpus Christi, Texas came across something they did not expect.
Permian mass extinction 'could happen again'
3-25-2017
A catastrophic rise in temperature wiped out the vast majority of life on Earth 250 million years ago.
Featured book
 
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Most watched animal on YouTube
Posted 3-26-2017 | 0 comments
Maru the cat has accumulated more views than any other animal on the video sharing site.
 
ALMA's 100-ton antennas
Posted 3-25-2017 | 0 comments
A special vehicle is used to carry ALMA's ultra-heavy antennas in to place in the desert.
 
How do we find lost satellites ?
Posted 3-24-2017 | 0 comments
A look at the methods scientists use to locate spacecraft with which contact has been lost.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ