As adults, we have a habit of reaching out and touching plants without a second thought. But babies, apparently, aren't so careless. New research shows that infants have an innate reluctance to touch plants — an aversion that protects them from potential dangers, such as toxins and thorns.
In our evolutionary history, we've had to deal with many animal dangers, which helped shape our innate behaviors and abilities. A recent theory, for example, suggested that we've evolved an uncanny ability to detect snakes — the earliest and most persistent predators of mammals. But animals weren't the only things in our natural environment that could do us harm.