Cuteness may seem trivial – but don’t be fooled. A creature’s ability to inspire an irrepressible ‘Aww!’ in people is an important adaptive trait. Indeed, for some species, it can be the difference between genetic success and extinction. And, for humans, cuteness can encourage care for the vulnerable, help us separate docile and threatening animals and, in a modern context, be exploited by advertisers and other messengers. A fascinating overview of adorability, this short animation from TED-Ed explores how cuteness came to be, the surprising ways it can ‘hijack’ the brain, and why it’s still quite mysterious.
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