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）
puny：形容詞，微小的；微不足道的。例句：Current revenues are too puny to cover extra advertisement costs.（目前的收入少到無法支付額外的廣告費。）
strike a chord with：慣用片語，引起共鳴。例句：Their policy on income inequality struck a chord with the grassroots.（他們針對收入差距的政策，打動基層民眾的心。）
little more than：慣用片語，僅僅；只不過。例句：What she did was little more than copy and paste.（她做的不過是複製和貼上罷了。）