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Zoomorphic Attributes

The attribute sets and attributes for the above class are described below. Minor edits which enhance the current definitions should be made directly to the text. Major changes or revisions which change the attribute words should follow the directions at the bottom of this page under Proposed Changes.

Order

Single choice. This divides zoomorphics into useful categories based upon appearance rather than the usual scientific order. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Order

Bat
A flying bat.
Bird
Birds are usually shown standing, but may be shown flying. Thunderbirds, which sometimes do not look very birdlike, are given the bird attribute.
Insect
Any type of insect, scorpions, spiders, and dragonflies seem to be most abundant.
Quadruped
A quadruped is a quadruped regardless of how many legs are depicted. The number of legs are recorded elsewhere. Whales, seals, etc. should be recorded as marine.
Marine
Any type of cold or warm blooded animal which lives in the water.
Reptile
Any reptile, lizards, snakes and turtles are most abundant.
Undetermined
Any animal not fitting into one of the categories above.

Facing

Single choice. This describes the direction the element is facing relative to the viewer, and assumes the image portrays the normal viewing position. In the case of reptiles, this indicates the position and direction of the head. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Facing

Front
The element is portrayed as facing the viewer.
Back
The element's back is toward the viewer, this is a common means of drawing a reptile.
Left
The element's head is facing to the viewer's left.
Right
The element's head is facing to the viewer's right.
Upside Down
The element is upside down, possibly indicating death.
Upward
The element is facing upward.
Downward
The element is facing downward.
Legs Left
For quadrupeds, the head is up or down and the legs face left.
Legs Right
For quadrupeds, the head is up or down and the legs face right.
Legs Up
A quadruped is that is upside down.

Activity

Single choice. If the element is not portrayed in a normal standing position, this describes the activity. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Activity

Birthing
The element is depicted giving birth.
Death
The element is depicted as in death; frequently this means being shown as upside down.
Eating
The element is depicted as eating.
Falling
The element is depicted as falling.
Fighting
Two animals fighting; deer in rutting season.
Flying
The element is depicted as flying.
Jumping
The element appears to be jumping.
Laying Down
The element is depicted as laying down. This is never checked for reptiles such as lizards or snakes.
Running
The element is depicted as running.
Sexual
The element is depicted in a sexual scene or position.
Walking
The element appears to be walking.

Birds

Single choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Birds

Cormorant
May be shown with wings outspread similar to a thunderbird.
Duck, Goose, Swan
Any element with a duck-like bill and torso.
Hawk, Vulture
Hawk or vulture.
Heron, Crane
Should have a long beak, neck and legs.
Hummingbird
Beak should be indicative.
Owl
Frontal views are most common.
Parrot, Macaw
Hooked beak and long tail.
Quail
Stout, round bird. May be depicted flying with rounded wings.
Roadrunner
Difficult to separate from herons and cranes based on body shape.
Thunderbird
May be as simple as an inverted U with a line protruding through the top. In some cases there will be a head with a hooked beak, the wings may be wider than just lines, and the tail may be wider than a simple line.
Woodpecker
The beak should be indicative.
Other
Any bird that can not be placed into one of the above categories.

Bird Head

Multiple choice. This describes any feather crests and the length of a birds beak relative to the width of the bird's head. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Bird Head

Crested-Forward
The crest is pointed forward.
Crested-Up
The crest is pointed upward similar to a cardinal.
Crested-Back
The crest is pointed backward.
Short Beak
The beak is about half or less than half of the width of the head.
Medium Beak
The beak is about the width of the head.
Long Beak
The beak is about twice the width of the head.
Huge Beak
The beak is very long, much more than twice the width of the head.
Open Beak
The beak is open.
Holding Prey
The beak is holding prey such as a fish or frog.

Insects

Multiple choice. Spider webs are included even if no insect is shown. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Insects

Butterfly
Uncommon. May be depicted with designs on the wings.
Centipede
Straight or curved body with several pairs of curved legs.
Dragonfly
Straight body with two pairs of wings.
Scorpion
Curved tail and pincher claws are indicative.
Spider
May have the wrong number of legs.
Spider Web
The rounded polygon type is most common.
Other
Any insect that can not be given one of the above attributes.

Marine

Single choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Marine

Fish
Fish.
Shellfish
Any shellfish.
Seal
seal or walrus.
Whale
Whale.
Other
Any marine animal not fitting one of the above choices.

Reptiles

Single choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Reptiles

Frog or Toad
Both the front and rear legs will usually point forward.
Lizard
Tail is equal or longer than the rear legs.
Horned Lizard
Variety of lizard with stout body and scales that may resemble horns.
Snake
Should have a head. May be be straight, curved, or coiled.
Turtle
The back may have designs. Usually the head, tail, and legs are depicted.
Other
Any reptile not fitting one of the above categories.

Snake

Multiple choice. Additional attributes for snakes. The attribute Reptiles.Snake above should also be checked. Use Head attributes as well, but not Tail attributes. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Snake

Coiled
The snake is coiled.
Clockwise
From the outside inward is a clockwise spiral.
Counter-clockwise
From the outside inward is a counter-clockwise spiral.
Straight
The snake body is straight.
Wavy
The snake body is wavy.
Irregular
The snake body has irregular snake-like curves.
Extended
The snake body is extended. Deprecated, choose straight or wavy.
Rattle
The tail has a rattle.

Quadruped-Domestic

Single choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Quadruped-Domestic

Cow or Bull
Cow or bull.
Dog
Usually depicted with a tail curving upward and over the back. Domesticated dogs are usually shown in the presence of humans and may be participants in a hunting scene.
Donkey
Donkey
Goat
Goat
Horse
Horse
Mule
Mule.
Sheep
Sheep.

Tack

Multiple choice. Equipment used on horses, mules, and other domestic animals. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Tack

Blanket
Saddle blanket.
Brand
Brand mark on rear leg or side.
Bridle
Bridle.
Saddle
Saddle.

Quadruped-Predator

Multiple choice. If mountain lion, wolf, or coyote are checked, feline or canine should also be checked. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Quadruped-Predator

Bear
Bear.
Caoti Mundi
Short legs, long tail, pointed nose.
Canine
Any wild dog-like animal. Domesticated dogs should be indicated elsewhere.
Coyote
Coyote.
Feline
Any cat-like animal.
Mountain Lion
Mountain lion.
Wolf
Wolf
Other
Any quadruped predator that does not fit the above.

Quadruped-Prey

Single choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Quadruped-Prey

It may be difficult to determine the difference between the various hooved game animals. The presence of antlers or horns may be the only clue. Antlers are composed of bone-like material and are grown and shed annually by males. Horns are composed of dense hair-like material, are usually permanent, and grown by both males and females. But pronghorns are an exception because they shed horns on an annual basis. In the absence of horns, antlers or other clue, deer-like prey animals should be classified simply as deer.

Buffalo
The curved inward pointing horns and body mass should be indicative.
Deer
This should be the default choice for all hornless ungulates unless there is a specific characteristic suggesting another species. Males have branching antlers. Females have no antlers. Sites which show large numbers of males with first year unbranching antlers may be depicting pronghorns.
Elk
These may be difficult to distinguish from deer. The main antler branch should start upward and curve over the back near the top. Most tines will point forward, those at the top will point upward.
Mountain Sheep
Heads of mails frequently have large backward curving horns placed one above the other. Infrequently, horns are shown curving in opposite directions (one backward and one forward), or both curving forward as if the artist is depicting a frontal view or the head. Females have shorter horns than males that curve backward.
Pronghorn Antelope
Drawn with straight or gently curving horns which curve toward each other at the ends. May show small prongs near the ends. Unbranching horns and ears may sometimes be depicted as equal in size -- these could be young deer or pronghorns. Hornless individuals should be classified as deer unless there is some other distinguishing characteristic.
Rabbit
Includes cottontails and jackrabbits.
Extinct Species
Any extinct species such as a mammoth.
Other
Any prey quadruped not fitting any of the above.

Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Head

Antlers
Could be single upward spikes, but usually shown as branching.
Horns
Horns of mountain sheep curve backward, pronghorns grow upward and curve slightly inward and may show prongs near the end.
Big Horns/Antlers
The horns are double sized or greater.
Ears
Ears.
Big Ears
Ears are double sized or greater.
Eyes
Eyes.
Mouth
Mouth. If the mouth is open, check this attribute as well.
Open Mouth
An open mouth.
Tongue
Tongue.
Teeth
Teeth.
Outline
The head is drawn as an outline. May be a natural shape or a circle, etc.
Appendage
Any appendage attached to the head. For example, a circle or spiral may be attached to a horn or antler.

Neck

Multiple choice. If the neck appears normal, no attributes will be selected. [New window] Examples for Anthropomorphic.Neck

Curved
The neck is curved.
Short
The neck is depicted as shorter than normal, about half or less of the normal length as judged from the length of the torso.
Long
The neck is depicted as longer than normal, about twice the normal length as judged from the length of the torso.
Elongated
The neck is depicted as very long, over three times the normal length, as judged from the length of the torso.
Thin
The neck is disproportionately thin.
Thick
The neck is disproportionately thick.

Torso

Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Torso

Full Bodied
The element is a solid shape rather than an outline or stippled.
Outline
The element is formed by lines, the interior of the torso is the natural patina or rock.
Segmented
The torso interior is bisected, quartered, or otherwise segmented.
Stick
The torso is drawn as a simple stick figure.
Stippled
The torso is textured with simple dots, dashes, or a more elaborate small pattern.
Other
The torso has some other feature (other than an appendage) that can not be described as above.

Torso Shape

Multiple choice. These attributes are used to describe various stylistic depictions of a torso. Torsos that were described as Stick should have no choices checked below. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Torso Shape

Amorphous
The torso is a blob with an irregular shape.
Crescent
The torso is a stylized crescent. The back may be either swaybacked or straight.
Elongated
The torso is depicted as abnormally long.
Oval
The torso resembles an oval.
Lifelike
The torso has a natural or lifelike shape.
Rectangular
The torso is drawn as a rectangle with a straight back, belly, and ends.
Paint or Tattoo
The torso is drawn as an outline, and the interior of the torso has lines, circles, crosses, or other designs.
Round
The entire torso is round.
Round Belly
A full circle overlays the middle of the torso. The remainder of the torso is frequently a stick.
Tapered
The torso is tapered with the thickest part at the head end.
Other
The torso includes some other stylistic feature not described above.

Number Legs

Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Number Legs

One
One leg is drawn.
Two
Two legs are drawn.
Three
Three legs are drawn.
Four
Four legs are drawn.
Five
Five legs are drawn.
Six
Six legs are drawn.
Seven
Seven legs are drawn.
Eight
Eight legs are drawn.
>Eight
More than eight legs are drawn.

Legs

Multiple choice. If legs are drawn differently, check all that apply. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Legs

Straight
Legs are straight from torso to feet.
Bent at Joint
Legs are bent at knee.
Curved
Legs are curved from torso to feet.
Front Forward
The forelegs are forward.
Front Rearward
The forelegs are rearward.
Rear Forward
The rear legs are angled or pointing forward.
Rear Rearward
The rear legs are angled or pointing backward.
Short
The legs are one-half or less than the length of the torso.
Long
The Legs are double or more than the length of the torso.
Odd Lengths
Legs are of different lengths.
Appendage
One or more legs has an attached appendage.

Feet

Multiple Choice. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Feet

None
The legs end in a straight line with no foot detail and no attached toes.
Ball
Feet are drawn as round balls.
Crude
Feet are crudely drawn, or may be missing with toes appearing attached directly to legs.
Lifelike
Feet of normal size and shape are depicted.
Big Feet
The feet are drawn much larger than life-size and may include detail.
Flat Feet
The feet are drawn in profile and are flat on the bottom similar to a human foot.
Footprint
Footprints are depicted instead of or in addition to feet.

Toes

Multiple choice. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Toes

Toes
Two or more toes are depicted.
Big Toes
The toes are intentionally drawn much larger than life size.
Two
Two toes.
Three
Three toes.
Four
Four toes.
Five
Five Toes.
> Five
More than five toes.

Tail

Multiple choice. The attributes below describe various aspects of a zoomorphic tail. When choosing an attribute, consider the position of the head and whether the view is a side view (quadruped) or a top view (lizard). Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Tail

Straight
The tail is straight, and held in any direction.
Curved
The tail is curved in any direction.
Upward
The tail is held upward, but does not curve over the back.
Backward
This attribute is typically used only for quadrupeds when the tail is held horizontally.
Downward
This attribute is typically used only for quadrupeds when the tail is held downward.
Over Back
The tail is held upward and curved over the back. This is frequently taken to mean a predator quadruped, perhaps a cat.
Rattle
This attribute is used only for a snake, when a rattle is depicted on the end of the tail.
Appendage
There is a geometric appendage attached to the tail.
None
A zoomorphic figure which should have a tail has none. This should not be used when the condition of the element has deteriorated and a tail can not be seen.

Tail Length

Single choice. This compares the length of the tail to the length of the body (excluding the head and neck). In real life, a deer's tail would always be described as short and a mountain lion's tail as long. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Tail Length

Short
The tail is one quarter or less of the body length.
Medium
The tail is one half or less of the body length.
Long
The tail is about equal to the body length.
Huge
The tail length is much greater than the body length.

Appendage

Multiple choice. The element has one or more appendages. These attributes should be used rather than the old appendage attributes under other body parts -- the older attributes are to be removed.

Head
An appendage is attached to the head.
Ear
An appendage is attached to the ear.
Antler or horn
An appendage is attached to the antlers or horns.
Shoulder
An appendage is attached to the shoulder or rump.
Torso
An appendage is attached to the torso.
Leg
An appendage is attached to the leg.
Foot
An appendage is attached to the foot.
Tail
An appendage is attached to the tail.

Group Size

Single choice. The number of zoomorphic figures are combined into one element. Multiple choice. [New window] Examples for Zoomorphic.Group Size

Two
Two figures.
Three
Three figures.
Four
Four figures.
Five
Five figures.
Six-Ten
Six to ten figures.
More Than Ten
More than ten.

Proposed Changes

If you have suggestions which add, delete, combine attributes or change the word used to define an attribute, then please copy the entire current attribute set definition above, including the attribute set heading to the end of this page and edit your copy. If you wish to make a comment below your improved version (or someone else's improved version), add a horizontal rule and then your comment.

Minor changes in agreement with the someone's proposed changes should be made directly to the text, competing versions should be documented as complete revised copies including the heading.

To add a new attribute set, create it exactly as it should appear. For suggestions on sequence changes, create an appropriate heading below and add a comment. For other types of changes, innovate.

All documentation should be written for the target audience of volunteer rock art recorders.


Appendage

Appendage is an attribute within Head, Legs, and Tail. These are duplicated within Appendage set.


ZoomorphicAttributes (last edited 2017-01-20 03:34:14 by RogerHaase)

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