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Re: Cuteness

>> Nevertheless, I think cuteness
in young goes beyond just indicating an immature stage of growth,
it illicits parental responses in adults. <<

I believe Bakker said something similar.  There is a realy connection between
the "cuteness" of the babies of a species and the amount of care they get from
their parents.  Baby humans are cute, so are baby horses and baby
chickens---all of these species care for their young.  Baby turtles, sharks,
and megapod fowl, are not especially cute (basically just smaller versions of
the adults).
Perhaps the fact that humans, horses, etc. care for their young _allows_ them
to be cute (i.e. not possess the traits that would allow them to survive on
their own). An organism that was garanteed care after birth would not bother
with growing things like claws or strong muscles or fur in the womb/egg---it
would come into this world still exhibiting its embryonic features: large
head, small limbs, etc.  After millenia of associating these features with
babies, the same features have become the on switch for our affection---a fact
which movies bank upon.