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London, Dec 6: Prehistoric artists were better at portraying the walk of four-legged animals in their art than modern man, a new research has revealed.

Most quadrupeds have a similar sequence in which they move each limb as they walk, trot or run - this sequence was studied and outlined in the early 1880s by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

Gabor Horvath and colleagues from Eotvos University (Budapest), Hungary studied prehistoric and modern artwork ranging from cave paintings of cows and elephants to statues and paintings of horses, elephants and other quadrupeds in motion to see how well these artistic depictions matched the scientific observations of animal motion, the Daily Mail reported.

They authors discovered that the majority of depictions of the 4-legged- animals walking or trotting had their legs incorrectly positioned, but the prehistoric paintings had the lowest error rates of 46.2 percent, whereas modern pre-Muybridgean art depicted animal motion incorrectly 83.5 percent of the time.

This error rate decreased to 57.9 percent after 1887.

Whether these differences were because of artistic license with imagery or lack of understanding of animal movement isn't clear, the authors said.

The research has been published in the open access journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)

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