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Extinct animals in cave/rock art?

  • 12-07-2012 1:24am
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Along with the venomous prehistoric snakes, my most recent obsession may be the idea of extinct animals depicted in cave paintings. Do you know of any? I think these are very important, a glimpse to the fleshed appearance of animals we would know otherwise only from their fragmented bones.

    As far as I know, these are supossed to represent extinct creatures:

    Genyornis (Australia):

    4655986214_1d97e54552.jpg

    Thylacoleo (Australia- it seems it had stripes, maybe we should start calling it marsupial tiger instead of lion?)

    20090527_thylacoleo_cave_ar.jpg

    Palorchestes? Australia

    OAKES_2003_Palorchestes.jpg

    Thylacyne? (Australia, around 6000 years old)


    thylacine_rock_art_at_ubirr.jpg?w=500&h=331

    Supossed prehistoric bat species, Australia

    batartpetegrew.jpg

    Megaloceros? (France)

    megaloceroslascauxsm.jpg

    Auroch (France):

    lascaux9.jpg

    Cave lions (France)

    4.jpg

    Coelodonta (woolly rhino), France:

    chauvet_rhinos1.jpg

    634x375chauvet-cave-rhino-painting_2351.jpg

    img1.gif

    Cave bear, France:

    Cave-Bears-Chauvet-painting-631.jpg


    Mammoth, France:


    CaveArtRoufignac-mamoutheMammoth2.jpg

    Spotted horses:

    090626-01-pech-merle-spotted-horses-mural_big.jpg



    What other cave paintings depicting extinct animals are you aware of?


Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    A couple more (it seems there's a limit to how many pics one can upload in one post):(

    Thylacyne?

    thylacine_14sfw.jpg

    Megaloceros

    ch115.jpg

    megacerosfulllengthsm.jpg

    Hyena and leopard (extinct in Europe, at least)- interestingly, the "hyena" seems to have been originally intended as a cave bear, but then spots were added- I'm wondering if we should call it a hyena at all:

    7180.20_2C00_000_5F00_Year_5F00_Old_5F00_Cave_5F00_Painti.jpg

    The controversial "unicorn" of Lascaux, which may represent an auroch or another, unidentified prehistoric animal, or according to some, it may be a fantastic creature.

    m%29lasxunicorn.jpg


    Giant Buffalo (Algeria)- what catches the eye is that its horns seem to be ridged in a similar manner to those of the Asian water buffalo, suggesting that either the prehistoric creature had water buffalo-like horns, even though its usually classified as Pelorovis or Syncerus antiquus, or else water buffaloes lived in Africa once...

    i-a594b7416400907c6eea4283e842a0c4-Algerian-Syncerus-antiquus-jahiliyyah-April-2011.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    The bear/hyena makes me wonder if there could have been a spotted bear at some point? We have spotted dogs after all...


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    The bear/hyena makes me wonder if there could have been a spotted bear at some point? We have spotted dogs after all...

    A spotted bear would be a sight to behold :O


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    If it had this colouration then certainly a juvenile could be mistaken fora hyena from a distance.

    503215128_48c34574d3.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    If it had this colouration then certainly a juvenile could be mistaken fora hyena from a distance.

    503215128_48c34574d3.jpg

    Wut, is that dog for real?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Very interesting...

    Reading a bit on it, some people are asking if it may be a dog-hyena cross, which is ridiculous not only because hyenas are more related to cats than to dogs (and thus genetically incompatible and physically uncapable of mating and breeding with dogs) but also the hyenas in India have stripes, not spots, to begin with. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Galvasean wrote: »


    If that is a pun it was well done. :D



    Not sure I would want a bear that is camouflaged with spots around. If you see it it would already be too late. Especially if it was a short faced bear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Rubecula wrote: »
    If that is a pun it was well done. :D

    ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,424 ✭✭✭✭ steddyeddy


    Not a cave painting but a roman mosiac of the extinct atlas bear which was Africa's last known bear.

    1862757-Mosaic_of_an_Atlas_bear_Bulla_Regia.jpg


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Interesting... which reminds me... these Egyptian reliefs may show an Atlas bear as well:

    08011852.jpg

    This one below is doubly interesting because it may depict not only a bear (Atlas bear?) but also a small elephant (behind). Some have suggested that the elephant may be a pygmy elephant like the ones that lived in Mediterranean islands until relatively recently. Others say it's merely a normal elephant calf (Egyptians knew both Asian and African elephants although they were considered exotic animals).

    elephant.jpg

    But perhaps my favorite Egyptian representation of a possible real extinct animal is this one:

    41_00566955.jpg

    benu5.JPG

    Called the Benu, it was the inspiration for the phoenix legend; according to the myth it would return to nest in the temple of Ra the sun god and was considered a good omen.
    The interesting thing is that, even though the phoenix is represented as eagle or pheasant-like today, the original Benu was obviously a heron, like depicted here. The fossil remains of a gigantic heron, much larger than today's Goliath herons, were found in the Arab Emirates, and classified as member of genus Ardea, which means it would look a lot, in terms of size and appearance, as the bird depicted in Egyptian art.
    Some believe Ardea bennuides may have been a migratory bird that traveled to Egypt regularly during the early dynasties, before becoming so scarce that the later depictions of the bird were simply based on the more ancient, original ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    If I remember correctly they also had white crows in ancient Egypt which were also considered good omens/Godly.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    If I remember correctly they also had white crows in ancient Egypt which were also considered good omens/Godly.

    Really? :O I once read a novel about ancient Egypt in which someone saw a white crow and took it to be an omen, but not a good one...

    White crows, however, are likely to be albinos and not a different species/subspecies.
    white+crow.jpg

    albino4a.jpg

    Their rarity is what would make them so highly revered, kinda like white tigers or white elephants (yes, they do exist).
    albino-elephant.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 49 ✭✭✭ Snotzenfartz


    225159.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    225159.jpg

    This one always reminded me of Mononoke Hime's Shishigami:

    shishi-gami-mononoke.jpg

    Although the antlers look kind of inspired by Eucladoceros...



    3780883902_2f7ec5f629.jpg


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