Feliks, J. 1998. The impact of fossils on the development of visual representation. Rock Art Research 15: 109-34.
"Abstract: The origins of visual representation have been debated primarily in terms of human activity and psychology. This paper proposes that man-made representation was preceded by a natural, already quite perfected representational system, the products of which were observed and collected by early humans. The author suggests the following new hypotheses: (1) Fossils were a means by which human beings came to understand the concepts of 'imagery' and 'substitution' prior to the creation of man-made images. (2) Humans evolved their own forms of iconic visual representation (especially those in the medium of rock), having first been made aware of various possibilities via fossils. (3) Many unexplained prehistoric artworks may be structurally and proportionally accurate depictions of fossils. Because fossils are known throughout the world, the hypotheses have cross-cultural validity. Clinical studies offer the potential of analogical testability."