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12 December 2012
Cavemen were better at drawing animals than modern artists

The depiction of animals dates back to the prehistoric era, when people used cave paintings and carvings to illustrate the animals they hunted.
     Experts of animal locomotion are well aware that the majority of quadrupeds advance their legs in the same sequence when walking, and only the timing of the various combinations of supporting feet differ more or less.
     Analysis of 1000 prehistoric and modern artistic quadruped walking depictions determined whether they are correct or not in respect of the limb attitudes presented. The error rate of modern pre-1880s quadruped walking illustrations was 83.5 percent - much more than the error rate of 73.3 percent of mere chance. It decreased to 57.9 percent after 1887. Prehistoric quadruped walking depictions had the lowest error rate of 46.2 percent.
     Cavemen were more keenly aware of the slower motion of their prey animals and illustrated quadruped walking more precisely than later artists.

Edited from PlosOne, PhysOrg (5 December 2012)

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