Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, January 28, 2008


I really did intend to write more regularly this year, but I have been ill again! I don't know whether this bloody disease is getting worse, or whether I was just completely unprepared for this latest bout. My consultant changed my medication just before Christmas to Carbemazapine, which - from my days as a nurse - I recognise as an anti-epileptic. However, (and this I did not know) it can also be used as a mood stabiliser, and I have to say that (at the moiment at least) it is working fantastically.

I had the most untroubled five weeks that I have had in years, and I have felt saner than I have for a long time. But boy, when the disease hits, it bloody hits! I was practically catatonic on friday and saturday, and yesterday all I managed to do was to stagger to the computer and lose magnificently at Age of Empires until I went back to bed.

I would like to thank young David (with a fond Uncle-esque manner) for having edited the first batch of films from last year's Weird Weekend. They are being posted on the CFZtv site now, and will be followed by the site for the 2008 event, together with an online thingy to buy tickerts in the next day or so.

I am involved with the annual Big Cats in Britain [BCIB] conference on March 7-9 which is being held at Tropiquaria which, as regular readers will know, is a small zoo owned by our old friends Chris Moiser and Jane Bassett, together with my lovely wife Corinna. I urge you all to come, because not only is it an important event, but will be lots of fun as well, and a chance to see behind the scenes of a lovely little zoo.

Issue 3 of Exoric Pets is now available..

The final contents are:

6. THE NEWS: Year of the Frog (guest editorial)
11. Ryedale A.S Christmas Tree project
14. CLUB NEWS: British Cichlid Association; Phasmid Study Group
17. RIO CAUCA CAECILIANS: Lure of the Black Worm by Jon Downes
20. TALES FROM THE BUSH: BBC bloke in Guyana by Stephen Backshall
23. DECIDUOUS DARLINGS: Dead leaf mantids by Graham Smith
26. CLIMBING PERCH: Fish out of water by David Marshall
30. AMAZING ANURANS: Horned frogs by Corinna Downes
33. VELVET UNDERGROUND: Peripatus by Matt Baillie
36. A CHANCE IN A LIFETIME: Behind the scenes at Durrell Wildlife by Ben Tapeley
42. A SILK PURSE: Trapdoor Spiders by Hugh Jeal
45. RAMPANT RODENTS: Pouched rats by Oll Lewis
48. PECULIAR PHASMIDS: Leaf insects by Janice Holt
50. THE EYES HAVE IT: Ocellated skinks by Graham Smith
52. KILLER IN THE HOME: Assassin Bugs by the Bug Doctor
55. HELP: I need somebody

CONTRIBUTORS Jon Downes, Graham Smith, Graham Inglis, Corinna Downes, Janice Holt, Richard Freeman, David Marshall, Shaz Hagan, Dr. Darren Naish, Stephen Backshall, Oll Lewis, David Phillips, Matt Baillie, Lucy Henson, Trevor Smith, The Bug Doctor, Hugh Jeal, Ben Tapeley