Being dressed in black and white but being able to camouflage yourself in nature can seem difficult, if not impossible.
Maybe, but not for pandas!
This is what a study conducted by an international research team from the University of Bristol in the UK, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland reveals.
The results have just been published in the scientific journal
, Slate reported Thursday.
The study thus shows that the panda is clearly visible with our primate eyes.
But when it is in its natural habitat, it is difficult to identify for other species, such as a feline or a canine with less keen eyesight.
"I knew we were on the right track when our Chinese colleagues sent us pictures and I couldn't spot the giant panda in the picture," says Tim Caro, from the School of Biological Sciences. from Bristol and co-author of the study.
They are among the aces of camouflage
Scientists then tried to prove that the panda's coat could make them almost invisible. After analyzing many photographs, they found that the pandas' black spots blended with the dark hues of their surroundings, such as tree trunks. For the white of their coat, it would go well with foliage and snow. The brownish pandas blend in with the ground, the researchers say.
Scientists then studied another camouflage technique, called "disruptive coloring".
Due to the very contrasting visual signals compared to the rest of the animal's body, the latter is camouflaged.
As far as the panda is concerned, it is the boundaries between the large black and white patches of its fur that allow it to have masked outlines.
By observing the coats of other species, the researchers also discovered that pandas were among the animals best equipped to camouflage themselves.
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