We now know why pandas are black and white, and it’s pretty black and white, tbh
Pandas are probably one of the cutest bears alive. They love to eat cake. They go to school like us (sort of). Plus, they’re no longer endangered, which means more pandas and – even better – more panda babies!
Despite their black-and-white selves being so adorable, we’ve never known why pandas are black and white. That is until the scientists who discovered why zebras have black and white stripes took a stab at figuring out this panda mystery.
A new study states that a giant panda’s black-and-white look actually helps it camouflage and communicate.
Now finding out why pandas look this way proved to be a tough study.
Lead author Tim Caro said, "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 team compared different parts of a panda’s body to other carnivores including 39 bear subspecies. They also looked into a panda’s habitat and behavior for leads.
Scientists discovered that a panda’s arms and legs are black to help them hide in the shade. The white parts of a panda — its face, neck, belly and adorable rump — help it hide in the snow.
Pandas then use their dark ears and eyes to chat with each other. Their ears can warn panda friends about nearby predators while their eye patches help them recognize each other.
The study adds that a panda’s black-and-white fur could also be due to its poor diet of mainly bamboo.
The study’s scientists admit they went through a lot of effort to answer such a simple question.
But honestly, we’re all up for learning more and more about these black-and-white fluffs!
Sign us up for the next panda study!