Cute or creepy： why humans love some species, loathe others－可愛或可怕：人類為何對某些物種愛恨分明
The Chinese giant salamander, the largest amphibian in the world, weigh as much as an adult human, and has slimy brown skin, a giant mouth and puny eyes. Unlike panda, it rarely makes the news.
Why do some animals strike a chord with humans, prompting them to donate millions towards their conservation, while others draw little more than disgust?
"One of the biggest factors is ’cuteness’：physical characteristics such as big eyes and soft features that elicit our parental instincts because they remind us of human infants," said Hal Herzog, emeritus professor at West Carolina University’s Department of Psychology.
Herzog said the dark rings around pandas’ eyes triggered humans nurturing instincts. But the main instinct the salamanders inspire in humans is revulsion.
"Disgust is a learned emotion. It’s probably transmitted socially, culturally and within families," said Graham Davey, a British specialist in phobias.（AFP）