You might not have realized this, but not many animals have markings like the panda. There are species of penguins, birds, zebras, monkeys, lemurs, cows, butterflies, and snakes that have black and white markings. All have different reasons for their sharply contrasting colors. Birds use color to attract mates, so evolution has selected for brighter markings with distinct patterns. Zebras have stripes to defend against biting flies. Penguins just wanted to look like they were wearing little tuxedos, obviously. But most mammals, and especially most carnivores, tend to have more uniform coloring. Polar bears are white, brown bears are brown, and black bears can be either black or brown just to confuse you. So what's with pandas?