Is cuteness associated with evolution

Not only animal lovers' hearts go soft when they see a puppy. Because small dogs in particular correspond to the child pattern, which triggers reflexes of care in us. But according to a US study, there is a puppy age that appeals to us particularly. And presumably evolution intended that too.

A research team led by Clive Wynne from Arizona State University presented photos of puppies of different ages to 51 test persons and asked them for a statement about the attractiveness and cuteness of the animals. Whereby it was actually only about the latter, but the attractiveness was also asked in order not to endanger the neutrality of the test subjects by drawing their attention to the cuteness factor. The puppies came from different breeds, from the small terrier to the beefy Cane Corso Italiano.

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It turned out that young dogs do not reach the bipeds very much immediately after birth. With increasing age, they are then assessed more and more positively. The Cane Corso hits the zenith of its popularity at 6.3 weeks, while the white Shepherd didn't get there until 8.3 weeks of age. On average, the greatest cuteness factor is achieved in just under eight weeks. After that, our rapture clearly subsides.

The question remains why the puppies touch us the most when we are around two months old. Behavioral scientist Wynne suspects that at this age they are particularly dependent on pleasing people. "It is the time when the mother dog increasingly withdraws from the puppies." Then it makes sense for the young dogs to win a bipedal friend who will take care of them - and the cuter one, the better appears in his eyes. "If you are not cute as a dog at that moment, you are threatened with death," stressed US psychobiologist Harold Herzog in a comment on the study. So evolution has designed the optical maturation of puppies in such a way that they ensure that people care for them exactly when they need them.

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Which again confirms how closely these two beings are connected and dependent on one another. Most dogs would no longer be able to survive without a person by their side, which is why it is extremely important for them to win them over.

And vice versa? Swedish researchers recently found that single men and women have fewer heart attacks and live significantly longer if they get a dog. Because it replaces their life partner and also keeps them moving through regular walks. Ultimately, both of them have something from each other.