Rock Art Natural History
Many ecologists are interested in the distribution of species and how community composition changes over time. In the present, we can go into the field and survey for species presence and absence. However, to infer species distributions in the past we either have to have fossils or zooarcheological evidence, or less reliably predict species distributions with models. This paper explores an inventive way to understand species distributions by inferring the species present from pre-historic rock art drawings. These drawings are dated so scientists understand potential shifts over time in the species present at these sites. The authors highlight this is an imperfect method due to human decisions about what species are important to record, yet they were able to document previously unknown species ranges on the Arabian Peninsula using drawings of hoofed mammals. This paper is paywalled, but does have beautiful photographs of the drawings.
What We’re Following
Nothing to read here! You know we love our animal inspired fashion here at WildlifeSNPits. So we’re admiring the beautiful and creative juxtaposition of birds and fashion on artist Michelle Jank’s Instagram account. And if you need more fancy birds in your feed, check out Leila Jeffreys portrait series. All that said, both artists could use an ornithologist to get some species names, fun natural history, and conservation statuses up for these gorgeous birds~ just sayin’.
Side photo of the lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) by James Warwick, open sourced on ARKive.