One in a hundred children are 'Psychopathic'

Around 1 per cent of children could be inherently psychopathic, with parents unable to turn around their behaviour, according to researchers. Up until now, children who lie, manipulate and commit acts of cruelty without remorse were thought to be the product of poor parenting.

But psychologists at University College London said two studies which they carried out showed such traits are largely genetic.

Researchers found that one in 100 British children display signs of psychopathic behaviour, and that normal parenting methods rarely work because the children an incapable of empathy

It means typical punishments such as the 'naughty step' are unlikely to be effective. The theme is explored in bestselling novel We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, which is about a mother struggling to come to terms with her psychopathic, killer son.

Lead researcher Professor Essi Viding said the novel was a good portrayal of a child psychopath and how their behaviour cannot be blamed on parents. She said: 'Yes, the mother was not a perfect mother. But this mother managed to bring up one child [Kevin's sister] who was perfectly well-integrated and typical, and another child who was extremely, extremely troublesome.'

The researchers said such children, which they describe as 'callous- unemotional', form a distinct sub-group of badly behaved youngsters. They predicted between a quarter and half of children with conduct problems could fall into this category, equating to around 1 per cent of all children in the UK.

The researchers also warn that traditional parenting methods to discipline children such as the naughty step are unlikely to work

Professor Viding said that although children who had anti-social behavioural tendencies were more likely to be the product of poor parenting, this was not the case for children with psychopathic tendencies. She said: 'For the group which has callous-unemotional traits, there's a strong genetic vulnerability. 'This does not mean these children are born anti-social or are destined to become anti-social. 'But in the same way that some of us are more susceptible to heart disease, these children are people who are more vulnerable to environmental influences that trigger the anti-social outcome.'

However, Professor Viding, who will present her findings at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen next week, said there is some evidence that psychopathic children respond to 'warm parenting'. This might mean giving children what they want in return for good behaviour, even against the parents' better judgment.



Bone Church of 40,000 Souls

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of about 40,000 people, whose bones were artistically arranged from 1870 onwards by a Czech woodcarver by the name of Frantisek Rint.

The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech Republic, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly. Below you will find pictures of this unique place along with the history of the church and visitor information.

What is an Ossuary?

An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce.

A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb than if the original coffins were left as is.

In addition to the Sedlec Ossuary, there are many examples of ossuaries are found within Europe such as: the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome, Italy; the San Bernardino alle Ossa in Milan, Italy; the Skull Chapel in Czermna in Lower Silesia, Poland; and Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of bones) in the city of Évora, in Portugal.

The village of Wamba in the province of Valladolid, Spain has an impressive ossuary of over a thousand skulls inside the local church, dating from between the 12th and the 18th centuries. A more recent example is the Douaumont ossuary in France that contains the remains of more than 130,000 French and German soldiers that fell at the Battle of Verdun during World War I.

The History of the Sedlec Ossuary

In 1142 a Cistercian monastery was founded in Sedlec. One of the principal tasks of the monks was the cultivation of the grounds and lands around the monastery. In 1278 King Otakar II of Bohemia sent Henry, the abbot of Sedlec, on a diplomatic mission to the Holy Land. When leaving Jerusalem, Henry took with him a handful of earth from Golgotha which he sprinkled over the cemetery of Sedlec monastery.

Because of this, the cemetery became famous, not only in Bohemia but also throughout Central Europe. Many wealthy people desired to be buried here, and the burial ground was enlarged during the epidemics of plague in the 14th century (e.g., in 1318 about 30 000 people were buried here) and also during the Hussite wars in the first quarter of the 15th century.

After 1400 one of the abbots had the Church of All-Saints erected in Gothic style in the middle of the cemetery and under it a chapel destined for the deposition of bones from abolished graves (i.e., the ossuary). The present arrangement of the bones dates from 1870 and is the work of a Czech woodcarver by the name of Frantisek Rint.

The most interesting creations by Rint are the chandelier in the centre of the nave containing all the bones of the human body, the two monstrances beside the main altar, and the coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg noble family on the left-hand side of the chapel.

Sedlec Ossuary – Visitor Information

The Ossuary is open daily except 24th and 25th of December

November – February: 9am – 4pm
April – September: 8am – 6pm (9am – 6pm on Sundays)
October & March: 9am – 5pm

Entrance fee:
Adults 60 CZK
Students 40 CZK

Roman Catholic Parish
Kutná Hora – Sedlec
284 03 Kutná Hora – Sedlec
Phone: +420 326 551 049


Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

The Chapel of Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe is a fascinating little pilgrimage chapel perched atop a rocky needle of volcanic formation jutting dramatically high into the sky, at a place near Le Puy-en-Velay in France. The basalt needle on which the chapel is built rises approximately 280 feet, and is reached by 268 stone steps that wind their way up the side of the rock. The chapel is surrounded by a walkway that provides a beautiful view of the city with its Puy Notre Dame Cathedral and the old bridge crossing the cusps terminal .

The chapel was built in 962, but the rock needle itself has been a sacred place for thousands of years: a prehistoric dolmen was built there and the Romans dedicated it to Mercury before the Christians built a chapel to St. Michael.

The Chapel was built by the bishop of Puy to celebrate the return of St. Michael who was on pilgrimage to Saint Jacques de Compostela. It was a simple shrine built on a central plan: a square sanctuary a tiny apsidole on each side. This original sanctuary and two of the apsidoles still survive today. The chapel attracted many pilgrims, especially since Le Puy was the starting point for one of the main routes to Santiago de Compostela.

In the 12th century, the chapel was significantly enlarged by adding a short nave west of the original sanctuary, an elliptical ambulatory, two side chapels, a narthex with an upper gallery, a carved portal, and a bell tower. The 10th-century frescoes were repainted in the original style and more were added. A century later, in 1955, archaeologists discovered a treasure trove of sacred objects in the altar, which are now displayed behind an iron grate in the wall.



Waterspout in Adriatic Sea

The atmosphere crackles with electricity, the air is close, and in the distance a towering column of rotating air and water approaches. Such a sight might be enough to scare the wits out of some people, but for Mladen Duka, the photographer who took these awe-inspiring photos, the thrill of the situation overcame any fear. Just. A fast retreat was still in order. “Who could think that an ordinary morning walk from Bol to Murvica, two small villages on island of Brach, Croatia, would be so exciting?” he wonders.

Exciting indeed! Many people go their entire lives without ever witnessing a waterspout – one of nature’s most spectacular weather phenomena. Even fewer individuals manage to capture a photo of what they saw. Fortunately for us, Mladen Duka photographed an entire sequence of a waterspout’s impressive yet ominous advance over the Adriatic Sea.

Here, we see the waterspout while it is still some distance away. It curves down from the mass of clouds overhead like a giant elephant’s trunk reaching into the water for a drink. It was a sight Duka and his walking companion certainly weren’t expecting to see that day.

“It was August 4, 2006 and the waterspout appeared between [the] islands of Hvar and Brach, just in front of Murvica beach,” Duka explains. “It was fascinating: she [the tornado] was there in front of me and my friend, connecting the sea and the clouds.”

It’s not unusual for waterspouts to be accompanied by thunder and lightning – forks of which spectacularly accompanied this particular weather event, beautifully shown in the first image of the sequence. That said, this photo suggests that it wasn't actually a particularly stormy day. The trees don’t seem to be being blown about much by wind, and the sea, although a little choppy, still looks relatively smooth. The sky even looks a little bit blue on the horizon!

Waterspouts can be classified as either ‘fair weather’ or ‘tornadic’, depending largely on the weather conditions in which they arise. Fair weather waterspouts can materialize on sunny, calm days and don’t tend to move around all that much. The more violent – and dangerous – tornadic waterspouts invariably appear in the midst of serious thunderstorms.

Looking at the dark clouds in this picture, we might jump to the conclusion that this waterspout is of the tornadic variety. However, as Duka explains (and the previous photograph illustrates), the weather was fine and still as the waterspout approached. “All around us was calm, windless, and we just heard the loud crickets sizzle and waterspout fizzle,” says Duka, describing the event (quite poetically, we think!).

Flashes of lightning notwithstanding, the relatively peaceful weather conditions in which this waterspout appeared suggest that it was of the fair weather type. Fair weather tornadoes commonly occur around coastal areas like this, and while they are generally less dangerous than their more violent tornadic counterparts, it’s still a good idea to keep out of their way. If they move onshore, they usually fizzle out pretty quickly, but can some waterspouts can damage property and leave people injured when they make landfall.

Here’s a closer view of this waterspout. You can see that the bottom of the funnel-shaped cloud isn’t quite touching the ocean. This may be related to the fact that waterspouts, despite their appearance from a distance, don’t really suck up water. In fact, it’s more accurate to think of them as forming in the sky and reaching down towards the water’s surface, rather than rising out of the ocean. The white coloration we can see is actually spinning droplets of condensed water – the same kind of moisture that makes up clouds.

Although water is not being sucked up into the clouds in the way a drink is sucked up through a straw, a waterspout’s winds do cause the waters to swirl and rise up some way into the air, as we can see around the base of this example. Forming prior to the funnel itself, this sea spray is called the ‘cascade’.

As the spinning funnel of air and mist approaches, we’re given an even closer picture of the eddying cascade at its base. As with land tornadoes, a waterspout’s central vortex and the rotating updrafts that surround it can lift water and even objects or animals – like unfortunate fish – up into the air. And given that what goes up must come down, when the waterspout subsides, everything it may have lifted up into the sky will be dropped back down to earth.

Waterspouts have picked up, carried and then dropped some unusual items in the past. For example, Montreal once experienced raining lizards, New York has been hit by showers of tadpoles, and in France there was even a torrent of toads – all bizarre events that have been attributed to waterspouts. We certainly wouldn’t want to be caught without an umbrella in such weather!

Bringing us back to Earth – and the presence of this particular waterspout – Mladen says: “She was coming closer and closer in full strength and beauty, swinging [at] the waist,” conjuring a peculiarly apt image of a colossal woman with a swaying gait. “We stood there, taking pictures, and finally when [the] lightning start to stroke all around, we start[ed] to run to shelter in a small chapel at the nearby graveyard.”

Should you ever see a waterspout approaching, heading for shelter is a wise idea. And if you can’t find cover, remember to move in a direction perpendicular (at 90-degree angle) to the path of the oncoming funnel. Finally, keep a safe distance when taking pictures. After all, there’s not much point in having mementos if you’re not around to admire them.

From this picture, you can get an idea of just how thrilling (or terrifying, depending on your point of view!) a waterspout can seem. Since far back in human history, these spouts have been viewed with awe and fear. In the Arabian Nights, for example, a waterspout is described as being a demon: “The sea became troubled before them, and there arose from it a black pillar ascending towards the sky, and approaching the meadow, and behold it was a Jinn of gigantic stature.”

It was only in the late 19th century that serious interest in the phenomenon was sparked after a particularly large spout appeared off the coast of Massachusetts. More recently, scientists have tried to measure the wind speed of waterspouts, now estimated to blow at anywhere between 15 and 85 meters per second (49 and 279 feet per second). That’s about equivalent to a weak land tornado, but it’s still strong enough to do some damage. The ancients were right to be cautious.

Pictured here, we see the calm following the storm. “Suddenly [the] umbilical connection between sea and sky split up and [the waterspout] disappeared!” says Duka. “At the same moment, the heavy rain started, so sweltering and humid that we [could] hardly breathe climbing up to the village.”



Top 15 of The Most Controversial Magazine Covers in History

Controversy sells. In the never-ending battle where an eye-catching cover can make all the difference in pulling in potential readers, these covers push(ed) the boundaries. While each cover is controversial for different reasons (subject matter, manipulation, raciness, etc) they all succeed in stirring interest, debate and publicity; for better or worse, that’s for the reader to decide.

1. Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938 – Time Magazine

The cover was controversial for obvious reasons. Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that features and profiles a person, group, idea or object that “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

“Greatest single news event of 1938 took place on September 29, when four statesmen met at the Führerhaus, in Munich, to redraw the map of Europe. The three visiting statesmen at that historic conference were Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain, Premier Edouard Daladier of France, and Dictator Benito Mussolini of Italy. But by all odds the dominating figure at Munich was the German host, Adolf Hitler.”

2. Demi Moore: Naked & Pregnant, August 1991 – Vanity Fair

Shot by famous celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, this 1991 Vanity Fair cover featured Demi Moore, who was the first celebrity to appear naked and pregnant on the cover of a magazine. Moore, then 28, and then-husband Bruce Willis were expecting their second child that August. The now famous pose would later be copied by other celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson.

3. John Lennon & Yoko Ono, 1980 – Rolling Stone

Even more iconic than the Demi Moore photo above is Annie Leibovtiz’s Rolling Stone cover featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980. Apparently Leibovitz originally wanted to shoot Lennon alone but he insisted his wife be included. The famous photograph was taken hours before Lennon was shot outside of his apartment building, The Dakota, in New York City on December 8, 1980.

4. Is God Dead? – Time Magazine, April 8, 1966

The headline was highly controversial and offensive to many people. The featured article discussed the ‘death of God’ counter culture movement that had sprung up in the 1960s (including Gabriel Vahanian, whose book “The Death of God” helped spark the radical movement). This was also the first time the magazine had ever used just type on its cover without an associated photo. It is alleged the issue received more letters to the editor than any other in the magazine’s history.

5. First African-American Woman Featured on Cover of Playboy – October, 1971

Darine Stern was the first African-American woman to ever appear on the cover of Playboy magazine. The photograph was taken by Richard Fegley and at the time of publication the choice to feature an African-American on the cover of a major American magazine was rare.

6. OJ Simpson Mug Shot Controversy – Time Magazine, June 27 1994

In 1994 OJ Simpson was accused of murdering his wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The case has been described as one of the most publicized criminal trials in American history. The controversial TIME cover was heavily criticized for making OJ look darker and more menacing than the original mug shot, which can be seen below unaltered and used by Newsweek magazine.

7. The Obamas – The New Yorker, July 21 2008

The highly controversial cover was done by artist Barry Blitt who was satirizing the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign. The New Yorker said in a statement:

“Our cover ‘The Politics of Fear’ combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are. The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall, all of them echo one attack or another. Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that’s the spirit of this cover. The reader of the same issue will also see that inside there are two very serious articles on Barack Obama inside—Hendrick Hertzberg’s Comment, ‘The Flip Flop Flap,’ and Ryan Lizza’s 15,000-word reporting piece on the candidate’s political education and rise in Chicago.”

8. Ellen Degeneres Coming Out Issue – TIME, April 14 1997

When TIME received the exclusive on Ellen Degeneres’ coming out as a lesbian it was controversial at the time (1997). Upon the news many TV outlets had decided to pull her show from the air. At the time she was the only openly gay star on television.

9. Caught in a Noose – Golfweek, January 19 2008

The controversial Golfweek cover ran after golf correspondent Kelly Tilghman drew criticism for remarks about Tiger Woods during a January 4, 2008 PGA Tour Telecast. In response to co-anchor Nick Faldo’s joke that younger players should “gang up” on Woods, Tilghman replied “Lynch him in a back alley”. Tilghman was laughing during the exchange with Faldo at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, and Woods’ agent at IMG was quoted as saying he didn’t think there was any ill intent.

The cover on Golfweek featured a noose and was so heavily criticized that the editor was let go the following day.

10. Michael Jackson Death Photo – OK! Weekly, June 2009

OK! Weekly was heavily criticized for publishing what it claimed was the last ever photograph of the late pop superstar Michael Jackson. The controversial image was purchased for approximately $500,000 and appeared on the magazine’s “Official Tribute Issue”.

“It’s a photo that captures the surprise and the upset and the moment of this breaking news story. I hope the cover will provoke readers,” OK! editorial director Sarah Ivens said in defense of the magazine’s decision to run the image. “It celebrated the man, but it also does expose that he was an eccentric character who lived a very controversial life.”

11. CGI of Princess Diana – Newsweek, July 4 2011

This controversial magazine cover from last year featured a computer-generated image of Princess Diana with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, would have been 50 in 2011. In April of 2011, Catherine Middleton married Prince William, the oldest son of Diana and Prince Charles.

12. If you don’t buy this magazine… – National Lampoon, January 1973

While not as controversial as many of the other entries, the cover did create a stir with its violent overtones of animal cruelty. Especially since the cover was run decades before desktop publishing and photo manipulation were the norm, such an image was unsettling to many. In an ode to the now famous cover, Texas Monthly ran a cover after then Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident fiasco in January of 2007.

13. The First Gay President – Newsweek, May 21 2012

This Newsweek cover of President Obama featuring a glowing, rainbow halo and the words “The first gay president” came in the wake of Obama’s announcement that he supports same-sex marriage. The cover’s headline was perceived by some as an implication that the President himself was gay. It was more cheeky than controversial but it stands out nonetheless.

14. Britney Spears – Rolling Stone, April 1999
Before the pop star became the center of a paparazzi frenzy, Britney Spears was a ‘Teen Queen.’ At least that’s what Rolling Stone dubbed her in their April 1999 issue which featured the then seventeen-year-old Spears in lingerie and holding a Tellytubby. In 1999, the young singer was already developing into a sex symbol, but many believed that this cover was a little too mature for a 17 year-old.

15. Twin Tower Silhouette – The New Yorker, Sept. 24 2001

Hired by Tina Brown in 1992, Art Spiegelman worked for The New Yorker for ten years but resigned a few months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The cover created by Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly for the September 24, 2001 issue of The New Yorker received wide acclaim and was voted in the top ten of magazine covers of the past 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors, which commented:

“New Yorker Covers Editor Francoise Mouly repositioned Art Spiegelman’s silhouettes, inspired by Ad Reinhardt’s black-on-black paintings, so that the North Tower’s antenna breaks the “W” of the magazine’s logo. Spiegelman wanted to see the emptiness, and find the awful/awe-filled image of all that disappeared on 9/11. The silhouetted Twin Towers were printed in a fifth, black ink, on a field of black made up of the standard four-color printing inks. An overprinted clear varnish helps create the ghost images that linger, insisting on their presence through the blackness.”

At first glance, the cover appears to be totally black, but upon close examination it reveals the silhouettes of the World Trade Center towers in a slightly darker shade of black. In some situations, the ghost images only become visible when the magazine is tilted toward a light source.[23] In September 2004, Spiegelman reprised the image on the cover of his book In the Shadow of No Towers, in which he relates his experience of the Twin Towers attack and the psychological after-effects.



7 extinct Animals

From panthers and pandas to rhinos and tigers, dwindling animal numbers speak of the need to step up conservation efforts – if it’s not already too late. As a kind of wake-up call, we decided to take a look at seven extinct species captured on camera. With modern photography having only been invented in the 1820s, these snapshots are visible testament to just how recently the creatures shown were wiped out – and a jarring reminder of the precarious situation for many species still left on the planet.

1. The Tarpan

Tarpan at the Moscow Zoo, published 1884
The last Tarpan died on a Ukrainian game preserve at Askania Nova in 1876. A prehistoric type of wild horse that once roamed from Southern France and Spain eastwards to central Russia, the Tarpan died out in the wild in the late 1800s. Reasons for its extinction include the destruction of its forest and steppe habitat to make room for people; hunting by farmers averse to their crops being eaten and mares stolen; and absorption into a growing domestic horse population. There have been various attempts to recreate the Tarpan through re-breeding, resulting in horses that do at least resemble their extinct forebears.

2. The Quagga

Quagga at London's Regent's Park Zoo, 1870
Another extinct equine beast – this time a subspecies of zebra – the last wild Quagga was probably shot in the late 1870s, while the last specimen in captivity died in 1883 at Artis Magistra Zoo in Amsterdam. Once abundant in southern Africa, the Quagga fell victim to ruthless hunting for its meat and hide, and because it was seen by settlers as a competitor to livestock like sheep. It was the coat of the Quagga that distinguished it best, with only the front part of its body showing the zebra’s vivid striped markings. As with the Tarpan, projects to breed back the Quagga have produced favourable results, visually at least.

3. The Javan Tiger

Live Javan Tiger, taken in 1938 at Ujung Kulon
The Javan Tiger was a subspecies of tiger found only on the Indonesian island of Java, until it died out as recently as the 1980s. In the early 19th century, the Javan Tiger was common all over the island, but rapid human population increase led to the destruction of its forest habitat. The Javan Tiger was also mercilessly hunted, so that by the 1950s it is thought fewer than 25 remained in the wild. Following in the tracks of the Bali Tiger, which was wiped out in the 1930s, the fate of the Javan Tiger speaks for the precarious position of the tiger species as a whole. Sightings of the subspecies persist but hopes for its survival are fading.

4. The Caspian Tiger

A captive Caspian Tiger in Berlin Zoo, 1899
Another tiger to vanish in the last century was the Caspian Tiger, the last confirmed reports of which date back to before the 1950s. Recent research suggests the Caspian Tiger was largely identical to the Siberian Tiger, but even if not a distinct subspecies, it yet had its own range and habitat. Found in the sparse forest and river basin corridors of Central and Western Asian, this big cat succumbed to intense hunting by the Russian army, who were told to exterminate it during a huge land reclamation programme in the early 1900s. Farmers followed, clearing forestland, and the loss of the Caspian Tiger's primary prey, the boar, spelled its demise.

5. The Syrian Wild Ass

A captive Caspian Tiger in Berlin Zoo, 1899
Another tiger to vanish in the last century was the Caspian Tiger, the last confirmed reports of which date back to before the 1950s. Recent research suggests the Caspian Tiger was largely identical to the Siberian Tiger, but even if not a distinct subspecies, it yet had its own range and habitat. Found in the sparse forest and river basin corridors of Central and Western Asian, this big cat succumbed to intense hunting by the Russian army, who were told to exterminate it during a huge land reclamation programme in the early 1900s. Farmers followed, clearing forestland, and the loss of the Caspian Tiger's primary prey, the boar, spelled its demise.

6. The Bubal Hartebeest

Female Bubal Hartebeest that lived in London Zoo from 1883 until 1897
The Bubal Hartebeest was a species of antelope that became extinct in 1923, when a captive female died in Jardin des Plantes in Paris. It was once found over much of North Africa, at least as far east as Egypt, where it was a mythological and sacrificial beast. However, by the 1900s its range was limited to Algeria and the Moroccan High Atlas mountains. Hunting throughout the 19th century drastically reduced the Bubal Hartebeest’s numbers, sealing its fate. A fawn-coloured animal that stood almost 4 feet at the shoulder, the Bubal Hartebeest was characterised by lyre-shaped horns that almost touched at the base. A beautiful beast, sadly missed.

7. The Thylacine

Thylacinus in Washington D.C. National Zoo, c. 1906
It was 1936 when the last Thylacine took its final breath in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania. Or so we think. Extremely rare if not extinct on the Australian mainland by the time of European colonisation, the Thylacine survived on the island of Tasmania alongside close cousins like the Tasmanian Devil. There, this distinctive, large-jawed beast found itself with a price on its head, as settlers blamed it for attacks on their sheep. The Thylacine was hunted to extinction by bounty hunters and farmers, though other factors such as disease, the introduction of wild dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat may have also played a part in the tragedy.

Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) photographed in a cage with a chicken
Although commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, the Thylacine was neither feline nor canine: while striped like a tiger and sharing various features with large dogs, this marsupial carnivore was wholly unrelated – and with the pouch to prove it. A favourite in cryptozoological circles, there have been numerous sightings of the Thylacine since 1936 – which continue to this day – though none have yet been confirmed. It will be a rare coup for Mother Nature if another Thylacine is ever discovered; otherwise its most vivid memory will sadly survive in little more than photographic form – another dead hero of the natural world.

Last Thylacine yawning: Note the unusual extent to which it was able to open its jaws