A new study of cave art across France – in which animals appear to have multiple limbs, heads and tails – has found that the paintings represent a primitive attempt at animation, the Daily Mail reported. When the images are viewed under the unsteady light of flickering flames they appear to move as the animals they represent do in real life.
The researchers also believe that prehistoric relics previously thought to have been used as buttons were actually designed as thaumatropes - double sided pictures that can be spun to blur the images into an animation.
The startling findings are reported by archaeologist Marc Azema of the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail and artist Florent Rivvre in ‘Antiquity’.
Azema, who researched Stone Age animation techniques for 20 years, has identified 53 paintings in 12 French caves which superimpose two or more images to apparently represent movement. ...
Granted, it's an older story (animal paintings with extra legs), but the research paper is new.