Who can resist the magnetic allure of a baby? The presence of little ones of any species invariably generates instant attention and concern from onlookers. In fact, it seems that both humans and animals are hard-wired to find youngsters adorable. The practical and essential reasons why the very young have an ability to play on our heart strings are explored in Baby Tales.
Baby Tales demonstrates how young animals learn and develop, and examines the role of “cuteness” in helping to forge and solidify bonds between mother and offspring. Many newborns in the animal kingdom are entirely dependent upon their mothers — and sometimes their fathers, as well — for survival. And, especially in the wild, nurturing and protecting the young can require enormous effort, courage, and self-sacrifice. The cuteness of offspring creates a strong visual bond that helps evoke a caring response in parents, which must spend months, if not years, feeding, protecting, and teaching their young to survive on their own.
About the Writer
David Malakoff is a journalist covering research discoveries and the politics of science for SCIENCE MAGAZINE in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared in a wide range of venues, including THE ECONOMIST, THE WASHINGTON POST, and ABCNews.com.
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