This truism evolved from a discussion with a friend about the Neo-Assyrians and their identification with lions, which I learned about while researching Jonah. Later, when I said something about human interaction being bullshit, he assured me that it is only 90 percent bullshit, the remainder being lions. I liked the sentiment, but figured bees were more accessible to those who had not just been discussing graphic Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs of lion hunts:
That is my painstaking copy of the original, which you can see here. I'm taking a bit of a liberty as it is from Nimrud, not Nineveh, but this is just one of countless lion-hunt reliefs from the Neo-Assyrian period and Nineveh had its share. I picked it because it's such a nice representative of the genre: heroic king on his chariot, mighty lions, lesser nobles (with knives instead of bows), prancing horses. Look at their fancy bridles and stuff! And look at all the musculature! I have read that after the Neo-Assyrians, art didn't get muscular again until the Renaissance, and I believe it. Think of ancient Egyptian art: it didn't look like this. It didn't render every barb in every feather when it showed creatures with wings.
Of course, the Assyrians had good reason to be concerned with anatomy: all their favorite pastimes involved violent death. You get plenty of opportunity to observe musculature when you're flaying someone. And probably when you make a lot of armor, but mostly I think of the flaying. Like Jonah. He thinks of the flaying a lot too.