I always thought my fascination for carnivores (aka dangerous animals) was spurred by the fact they’re totally badass but apparently it’s because of a deep rooted evolutionary history with predators that has influenced my visual system so dangerous animals capture and maintain my attention.
Psychologists from Duke and UC Davis studied the eye movements of 30 men and 30 women who were shown groups of photos dominated by either non-dangerous animals (impalas or lizards) or dangerous animals (lions or snakes). Some examples are over there -->. It turns out they all found the dangerous animal more quickly. The researchers speculate it may be a form of anti-predator behavior left over from our primate days.
"It is likely beneficial for animals, including humans, to increase their attention toward potential threats so they can respond appropriately." -- Yorzinski, Penkunas, Platt & Coss, 2014
My response – to save them from people who respond inappropriately (aka CONSERVATION!)