The other theory is that the aggression comes from not being able to hold the animal on the screen, according to Aragon's study, presented at the January meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
Aragon said she's curious which of webcams will be getting the largest number of followers: The network has set up cams for kittens, puppies, penguins, ants, jellyfish, baby calves and tropical reef fish. Some creatures are obviously not as cute as others.
Others have a more direct explanation for why people go goo-goo over live animal webcams.
"It's like a popularity of reality shows; these are animals doing what they do best, unscripted, fun, crazy, wacky stuff," said Bob Rimon, chief executive officer of the Washington Animal Rescue League. "It's cathartic to watch them. I feel like I'm going to shut my brain down and have pure fun."
At the San Diego Zoo, the live panda-cam can generate a million visits per month, crashing the server during births. The condor-cam is pretty popular, too.