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Re: Cuteness

--- Jura <archosaur@reptilis.net> wrote:

> 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 stimuli. 

Though no scientist I, I cringe when I read or hear
Bakker or Horner make the cuteness argument.

I think we are imposing our own biological imperatives
on other species in this case.

We see certain physical characteristics with warm
regard because they are similar to characteristics of
our own young.  Our emotions about our young are
presumably tied to the very real need to provide care
for our young for a very long time.  

I understood that certain organs are only able to grow
so much as a young animal develops, and this seems a
better explanation for the big-eyed baby dinosaur than
that the big eyes were an incentive for adult
dinosaurs to care for the young.

Not to say that there were no emotions in dinosaurs
regarding their young, but human preceptions of baby
appearance probably wasn't much of a part of it. 
Young alligators, who receive care from adult
alligators, aren't really all that different in
appearance than, say, certain young lizards.  Is a
baby croc really that much "cuter" than a baby gecko?

On a similar note, did male hadrosaurs prefer blondes?

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