Science: Rumples & Stumpies

The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea was worried last week about its most famous product: high-rumped, tailless Manx cats. They are getting so scarce that a special organization, the Isle of Man Manx Cat Association, has been formed to foster their breeding.

Manx breeding is no simple matter. Ordinary cats become plentiful whenever nature is permitted to take its course, but Manx cats are not ordinary cats. They are not even hybrids between cats and rabbits, as some Manxmen believe. According to Zoologist Frederick Zeuner of London, they are genetic freaks: "mutations with a tailless characteristic apparently linked with high-leggedness."...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!