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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.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

RICHARD MUIRHEAD: Snake with leg

Dear Jon,

Did you see this rather horrible thing?

Love

Richard M.

Just because most mutants don't gain special powers doesn't make them any less interesting. Case and point; this snake discovered the other day in southwest China. Looking at the picture, you should be able to figure out what makes this snake different from most; namely, the weird clawed limb sticking out of its side.

Dean Qiongxiu, the woman who found the snake, claims she discovered it stuck to the wall of her bedroom. Shocked and scared, Qiongxiu proceeded to beat the snake to death with her shoe, before preserving the beast in a jar of alcohol.

Obviously, this being a natural oddity from China with no independent verification, there's a good chance it's just a skillfull taxidermy hoax. However, nothing in biology prohibits such a mutation.

JON: Personally I would suggest that this is actually a snake that ate a lizard who did protest too much, and shoved its leg through the stomach wall of the snake and out into the world outside.

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

I think this is possibly real.

Snakes occasionally have an atavistic trait appear if the embryo does not form correctly.

Snakes with hind feet have been seen: http://universe-review.ca/I10-10-snake.jpg

But none have been seen with a full leg.

I have to admit that this snake's limb is rather unusual-- it is twisted at a weird angle.

However, it is exactly the same color as the snake, even having the same pattern.

My guess is it is a very weird atavistic trait.

The local university in China is doing a necropsy, but I have not heard from it.