What is it about pandas that leaves us smitten?

01/11/2013 | National Public Radio

Panda "cuteness" is actually a phenomenon in our minds triggered by the animals' appearance, which awakens our innate parenting instincts and a flood of positive emotions, experts say. Panda morphology packs in nearly every adorable punch possible from their large black eyes to their round bodies and what seems to be toddler-like behavior. However, pandas in the wild are decidedly mysterious, according to longtime field researcher George Schaller. They are "rarely romantic, don't cuddle and are certainly not like the pandas of our minds," Schaller said.

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