The Cosquer Cave: Marine Animals

Marine animals are rarely found in decorated caves from the Paleolithic era. In the Cosquer Cave, they make up a significant portion (11%) of the overall number of figures. Drawn or engraved in the rock were penguins, seals, fish, and various figures that may stand for jelly-fish or octopuses.

Penguins; 27 and 26 cm
This is the first time that penguin drawings have been found in art from the Quaternary period, although the bones of the "Great Auk" (Alca Impennis) were found in several settlement sites of the Upper Paleolithic era near the Mediterranean (Gibraltar, Southern Italy, and the Gulf of Genoa). The drawing is probably of the "Great Auk" which was still very common in the nineteenth century. It was slaughtered for its meat by sailors and fishermen which eventually led to its extinction.
18 500 years Before thepresent.

Scientific supervision : Jean Clottes and Jean Courtin

Photo : A. Chéné, CCJ/CNRS.