The Stone Age was comprised of three dominant eras: the Paleolithic era, Mesolithic era, and the Neolithic era. These eras are also known as the Old Stone Age, Middle Stone Age, and New Stone Age respectively. The categorization of this age as the Stone Age derives from the proliferation of stone tools which were used as weapons of survival for early man. Simple stones gave way to more complex methods of sharpening in the lives of the hunter-gatherers who lived during these times.
What Weapons Were Used To Hunt These Animals
The types of weapons carved out of stone give some insight into the types of animals that existed in different parts of the world. Likewise, different parts of the world thus required different weapons. Based on discoveries of these stone implements, it is seen, for instance, that in South America hand axes were carved out of stone in order to catch small fish and wild cats. In Africa, on the other hand, there were bigger prey such as woolly mammoths and bison. Spears and weapons made out of jagged rocks were used to hunt these animals.
How Do Scientists Know What Animals Lived During The Stone Age
To ascertain what animals existed during these times, a picture is created by looking at ancient art work, especially depicted on cave art. The discovery of fossils provides a vital clue in the gathering of data, given that no written records obviously exist. A combination of fossil information and art work, indicating what animals were alive at this time, provide as clear an account as possible.
What emerges from the studies is that the animals were far from being close to any current images of today’s animals. The prehistoric animals appear to have been enormous, their height and body weight exceptionally large. Fossil displays in the World Museum of Man present examples of the animals of this period.
List of Some of the Stone Age Animals
The cave lion was an extremely huge predator, a kind of mix between a lion and tiger. Far larger than any of today’s cat family, this beast appeared to prey on horse, boar, and deer. The preyed animals broaden the knowledge of other animals moving on earth during this era. Cave floor deposits are informational resources.
The cave hyena also preyed on the same animals, as well as on bison, woolly mammoths and woolly rhino. This gigantic animal hunted in packs at night as nocturnal predators.
Unlike the domesticated horse of today, the horse, Equus sp., of the Stone Age looked very different. It was used as a source of food as well as a resource for bone and hide. Starting with five-toed feet this changed to three-toed feet and then became a single hoof.
The Alpine Ibex, Capra Ibex, a wild mountain goat, is famously depicted on cave paintings. Adorned with very large curved horns, this animal thrived in mountainous terrain.
The largest member of the deer family, Cervidae, ever known, was the giant deer called Megaloceros. Its massive weight and deadly antlers designed to attack made this animal a frightening one, hunted only by large cats and wolves.
Another very large member of the deer species was the Red Deer, Cervus Elaphus. Their large antlers were a resource for tools, as well as their bones. They were also hunted as a means of providing meat.
The woolly rhinoceros emerged in eastern Asia and migrated into Europe. This violent animal, together with the cave bear, are seen on cave drawings. Dangerous to hunt, they were a huge prize for anyone who dared. The massive body weight of the woolly rhinoceros, with its long and shaggy fur made living in very cold climates possible. The front horn of this enormous animal was able to grow up to three or more feet.
Additional animals appearing on cave art work include reindeer, musk ox and aurochs, from the cattle tribe.
Man, during the Stone Age, acted either as hunter or hunted. It was only in the later Neolithic period that agriculture and farming was introduced, and with it the domestication of animals.