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Re: Cuteness

>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.


This has been brought up on the list before. Features associated with cuteness 
are known to elicit a nurturing response in humans only, or at least as far as 
actual tests seem to indicate. 

Large eyes and short snouts, coupled with awkward movements is not a feature 
seen only in animals that take care of their young. Many lizard species 
(iguanas and frilled dragons come to mind right now), who's young don't receive 
parental care, are still noticeably different from the adults. They tend to 
have large eyes, short snouts and awkward movements. These "cute" features 
appear more to be the results of being young, than they do of being nurture 

Besides, newborn birds are extremely ugly, but that doesn't stop the parents 
from taking care of them (most of them anyway).


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