This past weekend, on the eve of our nation’s Independence Day, I made the trek to my local cinema so I could pay fifteen dollars to see the sequel to a movie about fish that I had enjoyed ten years ago, . While my overall feelings on the film itself were mixed–I find movies driven by overly precocious or saccharine-sweet children to be irritating, and that is much of what entails–I did find that there was one standout character who, for me, proved to be a redeeming factor: Gerald the sea lion.

Gerald, I would say, is one of the greatest fictional characters of our time.

This initial effort produced a humanoid figurine without a head.

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He appears in for perhaps five minutes, tops, but his impact is eternal.

His character arc goes something like this–as one of the three sea lions at the Marine Life Institute, his lifelong dream is to sit on a rock that the other sea lions sit on.

The Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel was carved from mammoth ivory, by a sculptor using a simple flint-cutting tool, and stands 11 inches in height (29 cms).

It is the largest of all Ice Age sculptures found in the Swabian Jura.

Pieces of the sculpture were found in 1939 by archaeologist Robert Wetzel, in a cave called Stadel-Hohle, in the Lone Valley of the Swabian Alps.

The local cliffs and mountains are made of limestone which natural erosion has hollowed out to form caves.He is the smallest and weakest of the sea lions, however, so he always gets bullied off of the rock. One of the treasures of Prehistoric art from the period of Aurignacian art, the Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel is an ivory carving of a lion-headed figure, and is recognized as the oldest known anthropomorphic animal carving in the world.It was discovered in a cave in Hohlenstein Mountain, located in the Swabian Jura of southwest Germany.Following carbon dating tests on earth in which this item of prehistoric sculpture was found, it has been dated to approximately 38,000 BCE, making it the earliest art of its type (male figure) in Europe.A number of other unique works of Stone Age art have been found in the locality, since excavations first began in the 1860s, including: (1) the Venus of Hohle Fels (38,000-33,000 BCE), the oldest of the Venus Figurines and the oldest known figurative sculpture; (2) the earliest ivory carving of a mammoth - see Ivory Carvings of the Swabian Jura.