Why are animals cute?

Why Evolution Is True

If, like me, you’re one of those softies who likes cute animals—especially baby animals—and visits places like The Daily Squee, Zooborns, or Acting Like Animals, and if you’re also a tad reflective, you may have asked yourself, “Why do I find these things so god-damned adorable?”

There are, of course, two ways to answer that question.  The proximate answer requires that you single out those features of animals that make them cute versus ugly, and perhaps amalgamate them into some general explanation.  Why are baby ducks so cute, and baby parrots so ugly?  Why are baby chimps so much more appealing than adult ones?  Why are hairless cats uglier than normal ones?  Why are human babies so irresistible compared to teenagers?  General answers to these questions might involve fur, relative size of the head or of the eyes, length of the limbs, and so on.

Then there’s…

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