Search the Site

Scientists to Ugly Endangered Species: Drop Dead

It seems that scientists – those rational, cool-headed creatures – may not be immune to a cute factor in their research. A new study finds that researchers are biased towards cuter animals. “Scientists are people too,” says Morgan Trimble, one of the study’s authors. “And many of them want to work with the big and furry stuff.” Trimble and coauthor Rudi van Aarde found that threatened large mammals get the bulk of the attention; meanwhile, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals receive much less. Furthermore, within animal groups, specific animals received a disproportionate amounts of attention: “For threatened reptiles, some 98% of research studied less than a quarter of species.” Chimpanzees and meerkats, in contrast, have been the subjects of thousands of studies (1,855 and 1,241, respectively). (HT: Maarten Schenk)[%comments]