Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rock Art and Megafauna?

Researchers from Monash University reported recently that rock art in Australia’s Northern Territory represents Genyornis, an ancient megafaunal bird similar to an emu. This is the first reported artistry of a species that went extinct 40,000 years ago, and calls the timeline of humans in Australia into question. Further studies include excavation and dating of the site. This project and its future directions are an excellent example of archaeological sciences at their best- an archaeological team, a paleontologist, and perhaps some dating specialists will investigate this apparent chronological mystery.

Photo provided by Ben Gunn


  1. Auk! Good work. I wonder if I had lived in the Paleolithic if I would have been considered a half-way decent artist.

  2. After meeting an emu, I can only imagine the scale of the legs and beak of a Genyornis. I'm not sure I would have enough time to capture one in rock art.