Jonathan Jones says that as various fauna depart our world over the coming decades, we will lose in sum a large source-pool for most culture. Tigers, reptiles, sharks, and other proud predators have long sparked the starriest stories, poems, and paintings, or so argues the writer. But my question would be, did William Blake ever see a breathing tyger? And is it extant species that drive art? (whither dragons?)
The brash painters of Lascaux coloured their own fantasies and herds of the day, but if anything the last millennium saw an artistic move cloudward to God or groundward to fruit bowls and wheat fields, or portraits. But in popular culture ghosting animals do seem prominent, and to lose that would be terrible indeed.