"Pandas' unique coats decoded by scientists"

“Pandas’ unique coats decoded by scientists”

CNN reported on the giant panda, known for its iconic black-and-white fur, but some pandas have a rare red-and-white coat. These pandas are found in one mountain range in China. Recent studies suggest that this unusual coloring isn’t due to genetic factors but rather to natural variations in the species.

The discovery of brown pandas, starting with a female named Dandan in 1985, supports this theory. Dr. Fuwen Wei from the Chinese Academy of Sciences emphasized the importance of understanding this unique coloring for conservation efforts.

Researchers studied a male brown panda named Qizai to understand the genetic basis of this trait. They found differences in the melanosomes responsible for pigmentation in his fur, indicating a genetic link to the Bace2 gene.

This insight could aid in captive breeding programs to prevent inbreeding. Understanding the genetic secrets of these pandas could help conservationists better protect this beloved species.

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