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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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


An unidentified bird? Pah! This is the latest in our ongoing series of why are people so bloody ignorant about the world in which they live...

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

We have these birds as a game bird species. They are introduced from European and Chinese/Manchurian populations. Every once in a while a pheasant specialist collects and propagates subpecies of the common pheasant, like the Afghan white-winged subspecies and cultivates it as a game bird. The white-wings are more adapted to arid climates than the typical European and East Asian variants.

But we have no native pheasants to North America. We do have many different species of grouse. The prairie chickens are a species of grouse, closely related to the sharp-tailed grouse. Not in display, those three species look like hen common pheasants. Early explorers often called them pheasants without looking into their taxonomy.

The same thing occurred with ruffed grouse, which are called patridges in some regions. And our "quail" aren't even remotely related to the Coturnix quail of the Old World. The Odontophoridae quail are very different from the Coturnix species. They are more like partidges in their behavior.

But these are far from the only North American creatures that have been incorrectly seen as being the same species as the European form. We call a relative of the red deer an "Elk." And the true Elk, we call moose. Bison aren't Asian or African buffalo. The pronghorn isn't an antelope, and the mountain goat isn't a goat.