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Though its chief modern example may be paintings of dogs playing poker, the practice of making animals the subjects of art has an exalted history. In the illustrated lecture, “Chauvet Cave: The Dramatic Discovery of the World’s Oldest Known Works of Art,” Jean Clottes, scientific adviser to France’s Ministry of Culture, discusses the revelatory cave paintings discovered last year in southeast France. The paintings are more than 30,000 years old, making them the oldest known artworks in existence. Reports that a woolly mammoth is shown smoking a cigar and holding a royal flush remain unsubstantiated. At noon at Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 347-2458.