Casper College News Release:

Children ages 7-14 are invited to “Paint Like a Caveman” on Saturday, April 1, during the Tate Geological Museum’s April Saturday Club.

Led by the Tate’s Education Specialist Russell Hawley, participants will draw Pleistocene animals using the same palette of colors available to the people living 40,000 years ago. “Ice age artwork is one of the most exciting aspects of paleontology because these pictures represent actual ‘eyewitness accounts,’ painted by people who actually saw these creatures moving and feeding in life,” said Hawley.

According to Hawley, the artwork left on the walls of caves shows what the animal looked like. The shape of a woolly rhino’s horn, the length of mammoth hair, the dark triangular hump on the shoulder of the great Irish elk — all of these were first revealed through the discovery of cave paintings at sites like Lascaux, Altamira and Niaux. The drawings, … “reveal details about the animals’ soft-tissue anatomy and life appearance that we would never know from studying just the bare-bones.”

Hawley noted that later discoveries of preserved carcasses in the permafrost of Siberia confirmed the accuracy of these ancient artists’ renditions. “If one studies the evidence, both from cave art and from the frozen fauna, one can draw a picture of a woolly mammoth that looks just about like the original, living animal,” he said.

Saturday Club is free and open to children ages 7-14 and runs from 10:30-11:30 a.m. The Tate Geological Museum is located on the southern end of the Casper College campus; look for the life-sized T.rex bronze near the Tate or call the museum at 307-268-2447.

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