Towards a taxonomy of teddy bears

Detail from the Hinde/Barden study

Detail from the Hinde/Barden study

New efforts (see below) in France are adding info to the past, isolated attempts to classify the different kinds of teddy bear. The three most celebrated academic studies are:

The Survival of the Cutest: Who’s Responsible for the Evolution of the Teddy Bear?” P.H. Morris, V. Reddy, and R.C. Bunting, Animal Behaviour, vol. 50, 1995, pp. 1697-700. The authors, at the University of Portsmouth, U.K., point out that:

“Hinde and Barden suggested that the teddy bear has evolved to match sign stimuli that release nurturant behaviour… Over its short history the teddy bear has evolved from a long-snouted, long-limbed bear to a cute, snub-nosed, baby-like creature.”

and

Teddy Bear Patriarchy: Taxidermy in the Garden of Eden, New York City, 1908-1936,” Donna Haraway, Social Text , vol.11, 1984, pp. 20-64.

and

The Evolution of the Teddy Bear,” Robert A. Hinde and Les A. Barden, Animal Behaviour, vol. 33, no. 4, 1985, pp. 1371-1373.

The new project, called “Mission Peluches“, is based at Université Montpellier. The organizers explain that their group “organizes the first inventory of plushes diversity.” They invite you to join in their efforts:

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