'The Mantichora', 1607.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Woodcut of the mythical manticore. 'This beast or Monster…is bred amongst the Indians, having a treble row of teeth beneath and above, whose greatnes, roughnes, and feet are like a Lyons, his face and ears a like a mans, his eyes gray, and colour red, his tail like the tail of a scorpion, of the earth, armed with a sting, casting forth sharp pointed quills…his appetite is especially to the flesh of men.' Woodcut from 'The Historie of foure-footed beastes' by Edward Topsell (1572-1625?) published in London in 1607. Topsell's main source was 'Historiae animalium' by Conrad Gesner (1516-1565) published in 1551. Topsell's work summarized all real and mythical zoological knowledge collected since antiquity.