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RUFFLY ADORABLE

Puppies are cutest at adoption time for an important evolutionary reason

By Michael Tabb

Scientists have just pinpointed the age when dogs are cutest. It’s around 8 weeks.

Students at the University of Florida looked at photos of Jack Russell Terrier, Cane Corso, and White Shepherd puppies between 0 and 8 months old, and rated them on a sliding scale of attractiveness. Scientists had already established that people are more attracted to younger animals, but the new experiment found that that isn’t always the case. People don’t find newborn puppies all that cute—they find them much more appealing when they’re a couple of months old. And the researchers say this may be hugely significant to dogs’ evolutionary success.

Watch the video to see the dog images used in the study, and get an idea of what the results suggest about attraction across species. (Also, watch it to see some of the cutest pets of our Quartz staff.)