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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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DALE DRINNON: Giant Tortoise trivia

Following on from Richard Muirhead's recent postings on giant tortoises

Trivia bit on giant tortoises: inhabitants of several Pacific island including Hawaii have a traditional knowledge of Galapagos tortoises. There are stories on record when they were shown photos of the tortoises they would say "Oh yes, we know about those: we used to have some of those a long time ago"

This has been added to books about folklore amid head-shaking and disbelief. But there is an obvious solution: in the days of the big sailing ships when voyages were hard and provisions uncertain, ships would stop by the Galapagos islands and load up on some live tortoises to be slaughtered for meat along the way (they can survive a long time on minimal fodder). So at some point, the natives on the various islands could have seen the tortoises taken on as provisions.
And this means specifically land tortoises and NOT sea turtles: tradition specifies "Legs like tree-trunks".

Reports of Elephant seals around Hawaii used to be similarly dismissed, but it seems that some of the California ones can stray out that far from satellite tracker reports from radiocarrying seals.


Dale Drinnon said...

This posted version has an unfortunate typo: the last line should have read "This means land tortoises and NOT sea turtles"

The message was corrupted in transmission and somehow left that key word out. It had been corrected in a following posting that same day.

Zuri said...

The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of exotic species (birds, land animals, plants) and landscapes not seen anywhere else.