An emblematic figure of WWF, the giant panda has not only become a star, but it has also been the subject of much academic research so that we can better understand this Chinese bear.
The panda, a black and white bear discovered only 150 years ago.
As surprising as it may seem, the giant panda was discovered by Europeans only 150 years ago. It was the French priest and zoologist, Armand David, who discovered it in 1869 during his mission to China. Sent by the Natural History Museum of Paris, he discovers a panda skin while having his tea at a friend’s house in Chongqing in Sichuan province.
The giant panda lives in the mountains over 3,000 m above sea level in inaccessible areas. This is why he was unknown to Europeans and even to the rest of China. Only local people knew about this bear species.
Today, he is revered and above all protected.
Why is the panda black and white?
The panda’s face, neck, stomach, and rump are white. And it’s very handy for hiding in the snow. Recall that their habitat is in the mountains at more than 3000 m above sea level. At these heights, snow is often present.
However, the panda travels a lot between snow-capped peaks and rainforests to search for food. In fact, since it only feeds on roots and certain bamboo species, it is unable to store enough fat to hibernate. Having black members favors its camouflage in the forests to protect itself from predators like the leopard.
The ears and black spots around the eyes of pandas promote communication.
The black color of the panda’s ears would make it look more ferocious in front of its predators. In addition, the panda is able to recognize its congeners by the shape of the spots surrounding their eyes. Some studies show that the panda is able to remember the forms of these tasks to recognize its fellows.
And when the panda does not want to see, it simply puts its big paws in front of its eyes.