"Un panda peut être noir et blanc ou roux."
Translation:A panda can be black and white or red.
Just so you all know, red pandas are not actually pandas. (Wildlife biologist here)
It depends what you mean by "panda". The English word "panda" originally meant what we now call the red panda. Then along came the more charismatic giant (black and white) panda, and it has now claimed the unqualified name. But yes, the red panda and the (giant) panda are not as closely related as their common names would suggest.
I remember reading that red pandas were closer to racoons than giant pandas.
"roux" is specifically used for hair, fur or feathers. https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/roux
"A panda could be black and white or red." was wrong. Which I understand doesn't match the tense properly in French.
However, I kinda feel like in this context could and can mean the same thing in English. Since it's sort of a tense-less hypothetical statement there isn't really a time element to it.
The sentence given means pandas can be black and white or they can be red.
Your sentence means those are two possibilities, but there are other possible colours too.
I don't know if that's the way the phrase is used colloquially in English these days, but true enough.
The red panda does have another possible color and includes some black and white. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_panda “Can” is ability. That does not rule out other colors, it just states that a panda has the ability to have those colors and “or” creates possibility. You could mean “black, and white or red” and it would still be true, because both the giant panda and the red panda have black on them, but the red panda has very little white. Yes, in French “pourrait” would have made sense here also and would then be translatable to “could” or “might”.
peut = can
“Can” shows ability. “Might” shows possibility. While “might” is perhaps the better word in English for this type of sentence, in order to have that possibility, the species had to have the ability to come in those colors. So, both work. In French “might” does not exist as a separate entity, but you can show possibility with “pourrait” which is a conditional form of pouvoir.
Pretty much, but it is also used in a couple of expressions, as well, https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/Roux