04 September 2012

Dog on the Salar


Not all the wildlife was wild—some of the domestic wildlife was just as appealing. This little guy lived where we stayed on our first night on the Salar de Uyuni.


[24 October 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 45 mm, ISO 200, 1/100 at f11]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor

11 comments:

Relatively Retiring said...

Are all juvenile mammals cute for their own protection? I'm trying to think of some that aren't........

Zhoen said...

He kinda looks like you.

Relatively Retiring said...

Greetings, cute juvenile nephew!

pohanginapete said...

Ha! I hadn't noticed the resemblance, Zhoen. I probably looked even more like him before I had my hair cut last week.

RR, greetings also! I wouldn't have minded the energy of this little dog — this photograph is definitely unrepresentative of his usual state. Regarding your thought about juvenile mammals: I suspect humans are the only species that sees other baby mammals as cute (others see them either as food or irrelevant?), and not all are cute unless you think blind, naked, wormlike creatures (e.g. new-born marsupials) are cute (but even those become cute later). But your question still stands: why do we see so many as cute? Perhaps it's just an epiphenomenon: seeing baby animals in general as cute meant we cherished and protected our own?

Zhoen said...

I wonder if there is an evolutionary advantage to cute youngsters. Some animals (individuals) seem to really like young, sometimes even of different species. Humans certainly do, the large eyes and head appeal to most people, and we have got to have that from somewhere. Perhaps a mammalian trait, not complete, but common enough. Other individuals run in mild horror from the same stimuli.

I'm not particularly susceptible, but I do see it, especially in the very young. That urge to protect the vulnerable and innocent certainly, although I often don't really see it as 'cute." Just, well, I want to guard them from harm.

Relatively Retiring said...

Yes, 'cute' is a flippant word - vulnerable and in need of protection is what I meant.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, that's a good point about the tendency being a generalisation. I know some people who are freaked out by the sight of babies (well, they claim to be freaked out).

I'm sure there's likely to be some evolutionary advantage, but for me the difficulty lies in trying to sort out which of the numerous hypotheses might be right (which actually reduces to the problem of finding ways to work out which can't be right). Many are plausible, but plausibility's not grounds for claiming a theory's right.

RR, if I resemble the dog, I'd settle for being called cute (depending on how cute the speaker is). ;^)

lisanz said...

I think what struck me about this picture is the dog's calm and steady gaze at the camera. He may be young, but he has his place in the shade, and he's made it his own.

pohanginapete said...

Lisa, that's it — he owned all the good spots.

Anonymous said...

Great portrait Pete! Just curious if you took many photos of street dogs while you were traveling? Here are a few links to some interesting blogs.
http://www.photosthatgive.com/Photos/streetdogs/12483131_4hmXY#!i=894672237&k=JpaYy
http://bkkstreetdogs.blogspot.com/
http://mumbaistreetdogphotos.blogspot.com/
Cheers, Maureen

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Maureen. I've photographed a few dogs, mostly those that seemed relatively healthy and looked after. Unfortunately, in many of the places I've travelled over the years, that kind of dog isn't common.