Giant pandas are black and white– most of the time. A subspecies of giant panda that lives in China’s Qinling Mountains has tan and brown fur. The different color is due to a genetic mutation. Scientists think that this mutation might be prominent in this group because the pandas are isolated up in the mountains, and the smaller gene pool leads to uncommon traits being concentrated.

In addition to having brown fur, Qinling pandas differ from their black and white cousins in a couple ways. Qinling pandas are usually smaller than regular giant pandas, and their eye spots are located just below their eyes, rather than all around their eyes.

 

Photo by AilieHM

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