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The giant panda's distinctive black-and-white fur makes it one of the most recognizable animals on the planet. But why does it have this unique coloring? To hide from predators, both in the snow and in the shadows, scientists now say. Moreover, the large black circles around a panda's eyes may help other pandas recognize it, the researchers 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," study lead author Tim Caro, a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis, said in a statement . Full story

16 August