Neanderthal man, who lived over 35,000 years ago, was not as good at drawing as later humans. Neanderthal man became extinct tens of thousands of years ago. They had large brains and made tools to hunt, but they found it difficult to draw things. Later humans could draw animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. Professor Richard Coss, an expert on pre-historic drawings, studied photos and videos of early art. He studied drawings of animals made by human artists from 28,000 to 32,000 years ago in the south of France.
The difference in drawing ability could be because of hunting skills. Neanderthal man hunted animals that were easier to kill. Later humans hunted dangerous animals. This needed better hand-eye coordination. Professor Coss said Neanderthal man could remember what animals looked like, but they could not use these mental images with the hand-eye coordination that is necessary for drawing. Professor Coss said later humans used drawings to plan their hunting. They used the drawings to discuss which parts of an animal's body to target.