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Hereโ€™s an Otocolobus manul โ€” natureโ€™s Grumpy Cat โ€” discovering a camera trap outside itโ€™s den. Camera traps are used by biologists to lean about rare animalsโ€™ behavior, abundance, and health โ€” just by setting up a solar-powered camera with a motion trigger. No physical trapping necessary.

O. manul (also known as Pallasโ€™s cat) is about the size of a house cat, but youโ€™ll notice has round pupils instead of slits. It lives in western China and the steppes of Central Asia.

Youโ€™d think that Pallasโ€™s cat would rule the internet by now - but there arenโ€™t too many photos of them because they are both rare and shy. The IUCN lists them as near-threatened. Just another reason to support species conservation!

You can see the whole video โ€” posted Scarce Worldwide โ€” here.


Hereโ€™s an interesting study: psychologists at the University of York wanted to investigate first impressions. They had people rate 1000 images of faces on different social traits (this person looks more approachable, that one looks less dominant) and also mapped โ€œ65 physical attributes, such as eyebrow width, mouth area, and cheekbone positionโ€ โ€ฆ even head angle!

Then, with some statistical analysis, they were able to show how different physical traits influence our first impressions. We obviously use physical cues to determine how attractive someone is, but according to the study those same cues influence what we think about their personalities.

These cartoon faces are based on the study - the researchers took their objective measurements of various facial features and optimized them for certain traits. Obviously we canโ€™t control a lot about our faces, but the study does suggest that if you want to appear more approachable, smiling really big and tilting your head to the side (at a 10.21 degree angle to be precise) might help.

Source: Richard J. W. Vernon, Clare A. M. Sutherland, Andrew W. Young, and Tom Hartley, Department of Psychology, University of York

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