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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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Another strange turtle freak from the peculiar website that Fleur found...

Yes, two heads!

This Yellow Belly was that one in a million born with two heads.

It was born in June, and has been doing very well ever since.

It is well past the early fragile stage. The head on the turtle's left is the dominant one.

Both heads feed and move independently.

Considering it's extreme rarity, special care should be given to be sure the turtle is set up in an easily navigated, turtle-friendly environment.

The keeper who orders this turtle will truly have something very special....

I am in a moral conundrum here. On one side I think that there is something very morally dubious about selling lusus naturae to people as pets. The whole ethos of responsible pet keeping as promoted by our magazine The Amateur Naturalist is that when wild animals are kept in captivity it should be as a celebration of the diversity of wildlife in the world, and in as natural a habitat as possible. This is the most un-natural wild animal that one could possibly hope for.

But golly, I want one.


1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

Now, there are ethics involved in choosing and deliberately breeding for deformity.

It's more of an issue in my main area of zoological expertise-- the domestic dog. We have breed standards that call for all sorts of unnatural and unhealthy shapes, which, while "cute" and "bizarre," can also be rather detrimental to the animal's health.

And just this past week, a huge row erupted over a five-legged puppy.


She couldn't walk properly or sit down. Now, this may have been a somatic mutation and not something one can actually use to establish a line.

Currently, there are big fights over albino dobermanns, which tend to have lots medical conditions, and breeding merles to merles, which can produce eye and ear deformities in 1/4 of the offspring that are bred from such "double merle" breedings.

These two headed turtles aren't as severely affected in living their lives as dogs are, but I still think there is an animal welfare issue.