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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In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


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Saturday, June 13, 2009

FLEUR FULCHER: Fleur's Internship Diary Weeks Four and Five

Over, once again to the divine Ms F. She is spending the summer as an intern at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. This is her story.......

It has been a hectic two weeks both at work and at home, so I can only apologise for the missing week from my internship diary.

Last week started with me in Launceston; I had wanted to be allowed to help the curators to see how they work. Tony Eccles, the curator of Ethnography let me help him take down an exhibition about the great plant collectors of the Veitch nurseries. They had by the outbreak of World War one introduced 1281 plants to the west, including over 200 orchids and the Pocket Handkerchief tree we have one of in our garden.

The rest of the week was taken up with more shells including the prettiest ones yet and more herbarium. On the Friday I was again helping Tony, we took some rather ace objects to be photographed. My favourite was a Tongan club.

This week we have been doing a variety of things, yet more shells, even more herbarium action and condition checking the Cuvier's Beaked whale skeleton which is being remounted.

On being told that there was a Moa skeleton in the stores, I found it whilst looking for a whale rib and took a few pictures. On Friday I also saw a specimen of Passenger Pigeon, a bird whose story I'm sure you're all familiar with. It looked ordinary; not being an ornithologist I wouldn't have thought it unusual if it appeared in my garden. But nonetheless seeing it in such close proximity was quite emotional, it was on a table, between a pair of hummingbirds and the shell of a small turtle.

Friday afternoon found Catherine crawling around finding bits of bamboo under a tiger (one of 39 shot in 10 days by George V, the git), and found me checking pest traps as we had found a couple of live booklice, in one of them were two odd looking insects I couldn't identify, on asking some of my superiors they couldn't identify it either although the Assistant Natural History curator thought it was a type of winged Psocid (booklouse) however we were unsure if he was right and may send photographs of it to an expert. It was a rather long legged, bristly winged beastie of about 2 or 3 mm in length. Maybe I shall include a pic of it next week if I can.

So all in all I am still loving my work placement and hope that I can get a job in a museum like the one I'm working at now.
Fleur's bosses at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum have been kind enough to allow her to write this blog, even though it is not usually their policy to allow such things. We would like to thank them for this, and to point out that all pictures of museum specimens are copyright to the RAMM

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