Do Red Pandas Camouflage? [Truth Revealed!]


Camouflaging is a common thing for many animals – both predators and prey.

Interestingly a prey animal camouflages to hide from predators just the same way predators camouflage while hunting for prey.

Considering how peaceful red pandas are, do they need to camouflage too?

Yes, red pandas camouflage. And they’re pretty good at it, especially to stay out of sight of their predators.

To remain safe, red pandas will stay in trees like fir trees that have branches that are normally covered in reddish-brown moss and white lichens, which are clustered together.

This matches the color of their fur thereby providing camouflage.

The red pandas’ unique fur which consists of reddish-brown, white, and black colors is the main body part they use to camouflage and stay hidden in their environment.

Keep reading as we discuss in detail while red pandas camouflage in their habitats.

Red Panda Beautiful Fur Blending with the Tree

Why Do Red Pandas Camouflage?

Protection, if you look at the reddish-brown coat of red pandas, you may not think it “excellent for camouflage,” but you’d be completely mistaken. 

The red panda is very good at hiding from predators by hiding in the branches of fir trees, usually covered in reddish-brown moss. 

Camouflage is useful because attacks by the snow leopard look to be a terrible way to die.

Red pandas are expert climbers who use trees and their body fur for protection, to avoid predators, and to relax in the sun during winter. 

On rare occasions, when red pandas eat small animals, they’ll camouflage while hunting. This is a common hunting skill for many predators.

RECOMMENDED READING: WHAT DO RED PANDAS LIKE TO EAT?

Can Red Pandas Change Color Like Chameleons?

No. Chameleons are ectotherms (animals that cannot create their body heat like mammalian species). Only ectotherms have specialized cells that allow for color changing. 

Coloration in animals is caused by light reflection and scattering by cells and tissues and light absorption by biochemical pigments within skin cells.

Pigment-containing cells of ectotherms are known as chromatophores, and they are primarily responsible for skin and eye color.

On the other hand, red pandas are mammals, and they produce body heat. They lack special cells in ectotherms, making them change their color like chameleons. 

They, however, have a camouflage characteristic but differently.

Red pandas’ body fur blends in with nature and makes them hard to spot, especially when they notice unwanted predators. 

How Do Red Pandas Camouflage?

Red Panda Camouflaging in a Tree in Its Habitat

Red pandas have an excellent camouflage technic. Because of their red and brown fur, they can hide in trees in the forest. 

Red Pandas’ red and black coloring protects them from predators. 

The red on a red panda’s back matches the color of the moss on the branches where they live. The black on their belly makes it hard to see them from down.  

The marks on the face of a red panda help them survive. The reddish ‘tear tracks’ that extend around their eyes to the corners of their mouth may aid in keeping the sun from their eyes.

The white fur on their face is “almost luminous,” guiding a mother’s lost pups in the dark.

Except during the mating season, red pandas live alone. Most breeding pairs under human care live together all year. 

One animal’s home range in the wild is around one square mile. It is harder to spot one red panda rather than a group. 

Final Thoughts

Red pandas use their bodies to camouflage within trees. Their red and brown color patterns greatly help them blend in with trees covered in scarlet red moss. 

When threatened, they climb up branches or rocks that will make it difficult to notice and find. Nonetheless, with all the camouflage ability, red pandas can also attack

They have claws in their paws, which they use to attack. 

If you come across a standing red panda, maintain your distance. Because the animal is likely stressed, it may resort to using its sharp claws or spraying a nasty odor from its scent glands.

With all that said, red pandas look a bit dangerous, right? Click here to be sure if these creatures can harm humans.