Why Are Bears ‘Friend-Shaped’? | Scientific American | Technology & Science

‘If Not Friend, Why Friend-Shaped?’ A Beary Scientific Investigation.

Why are bears both adorable and deadly? Scientific American investigates why these apex predators are “friend-shaped”.

Close up of playful European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) cubs in the woods of Finland.

There’s a meme about bears floating around the Internet: “If not friend, why friend-shaped?”

This is an intriguing question if you decide to take it seriously. Most deadly apex predators have a certain ferocity to them that doesn’t scream “friend”—think lions, wolves and crocodiles. So why do bears seem so cute and cuddly? Have we just been conditioned by teddy bears and Paddington to find them safe and comforting, or is there something else going on? It turns out that evolution and human psychology might help us understand their friend-shaped nature.

“I think that humans have this huge bias in terms of how we see bears,” says Rae Wynn-Grant, an…

Source www.scientificamerican.com

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