Another theory suggests that the black absorbs heat while the white reflects it, helping giant pandas maintain an even temperature.Unfortunately, there is no one conclusive theory as to why giant pandas are black and white.
As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation.
The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests for several million years.
It is a highly specialized animal, with unique adaptations.
If the pandas are not on view, they may be spending time in an enclosure behind the scenes.
Flash photography and video with handheld devices are permitted inside the panda house.
The panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat.
Giant pandas have large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo.
This theory does not work, however, when considering that giant pandas have no natural enemies to hide from.
Another thought is that the pattern may accentuate social signals in some way, or help giant pandas to identify one another from a distance so they can avoid socializing, as they are typically a solitary animal.