Oct
16
2006

Just black and white?

Giant Panda Bear: A Giant Panda forages for food.
Giant Panda Bear: A Giant Panda forages for food.

According to a graduate researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, giant pandas can see in color. Two pandas at Zoo Atlanta were tested over a period of two years, in numerous trials, to see if they could distinguish between colors and shades of gray. The bears were presented with three pipes- two pipes hanging over a shade of gray and one pipe hanging over a color, either red, green, or blue. If the bear chose the color, it received a treat. If it pushed a gray- labeled pipe, the bear got nothing. While the results of the tests for each color, red, green, and blue, were varied in their success, the results did prove that giant pandas have some color vision, though the level of vision they have remains in question. Reserachers say that the ability to see color could aid the bears in foraging for food, like being able to tell the difference between a patch of healthy, green bamboo and a patch of brown, dead bamboo.

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