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Ancient cave paintings were the works of realists

New research into cave paintings has revealed that the artists were realists, accurately colouring the animals depicted.

To get at the genetics of equine coat color, an international team led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany analyzed DNA from fossilized bones and teeth from 31 prehistoric horses. The samples were recovered from more than a dozen archaeological sites in Siberia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the Iberian peninsula.

It turned out six of the horses had a genetic mutation that gives rise to a spotted coat, suggesting that ancient artists were drawing what they were seeing. Brown was the most common coat color, found in 18 horses.

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Story: AP | Photo: AP

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