a, b, The shaft scene from Lascaux (about 21–14 ka) (a). This rock art panel is widely interpreted as depicting a bird-headed human figure (b) being charged by a bison that it has wounded with a spear; in a, the latter object is visible below the partly disembowelled bison. Another object depicted in this scene possibly represents a spearthrower with a sculpted representation of a bird at the proximal end19,20. c, d, The lion-man figurine from Hohlenstein–Stadel8. Carved in mammoth ivory, this 31.1-cm-tall image of Aurignacian age (about 40–39 ka) appears to represent a male human figure with the head of a cave lion8. The image in b is a digital tracing of the relevant section in a. Sources: Alamy, used under licence (a, c); Shutterstock, used under licence (d).