The particular symbolic significance of the cave paintings in southwestern France is more explicitly revealed, perhaps, by the results of a study conducted by researchers Patricia Rice and Ann Paterson.
The data they present suggest that the animals portrayed in the cave paintings were mostly the ones that the painters preferred for meat and for materials such as hides.
For example, wild cattle (bovines) and horses are portrayed more often than we would expect by chance, probably because they were larger and heavier (meatier) than other
animals in the environment.
In addition, the paintings mostly portray animals that the painters may have feared the most because of their size, speed, natural weapons such as tusks and horns, and the unpredictability of their behavior.
第五句：That is, mammoths, bovines, and horses are portrayed more often than deer and reindeer.
Thus, the paintings are consistent with the idea that the art is related to the importance of hunting in the economy of Upper Paleolithic people.
Consistent with this idea, according to the investigators, is the fact that the art of the cultural period that followed the Upper
Paleolithic also seems to reflect how people got their food.
But in that period, when getting food no longer depended on hunting large game animals (because they were becoming extinct), the art ceased to focus on portrayals of animals.