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, December 21, 2009


I have a series of E-mails between Ben Roesch and Dr. Darren Naish continuing the selection begun about the large black birds in Uganda. This time I focus on a new species of horse discovered in Tibet:

'An expedition to the far north of Tibet led by Dr Michel Peissel, a Frenchman with more than a touch of Indiana Jones about him, has discovered a hitherto unknown ancient breed of horse. The Riwoche horse, named by Dr Peissel after the remote area where it was found, may be the missing link between the Przewalski horse, a wild Mongolian animal with neolithic origins, and other breeds.

'The team of six, which included Sebastian Guinness, with whom Dr Peissel discovered the source of the Mekong last year, returned to Europe a few days ago. The original purpose of the seven-week expedition was to study another horse,the Nangchen, identified by Dr Peissel in north-eastern Tibet in 1993.

'He had hoped to buy some of theses pure-bred creatures which have no trace of Mongolian, Arab or Turkish blood. Powerful and fast, they have many of the characteristics of a modern racehorse.

'The high prices wanted by the tribesman made purchase impossible, but bad weather on the way back to Lhasa led to a new discovery. "We were in a very unexplored area, the primitive pre-Buddhist area of Tibet to the north of Lhasa, not far from the Chinese border. We weren`t able to proceed on our intended route because the passes were blocked with snow. So we took another way, into Riwoche, which is where we found the little monster. "It is pony-size, about 4 ft, a little like a donkey but with small ears, hardly any nostrils and a rough coat. It has a black stripe down its back, stripes on its back legs and a black mane. I thought it looked like cave drawings of horses, although a friend of mine says it looks like a pig...Dr Peissel, who is fluent in Tibetan, hopes to return to Tibet next year in co-operation with the Chinese Academy of Science to conduct a further study of the horses and to export some.' (1)

1.E-mail from Ben Roesch to Darren Naish and others.Nov.16th 1995.

Muirhead`s Mysteries will be taking a break from December 23rd to December 27th inclusive.The blogs will resume between Dec.28th and Dec.30th.No blog on Dec.31st,Jan.1st and Jan.2nd.I will resume after the New Year on January 3rd 2010

Suzanne Vega-Wooden Horse.

I came out of the darkness
Holding one thing
A small white wooden horse
I`d been holding inside

And when I`m dead
If you could tell them this
That what was wood became alive
What was wood became alive

1 comment:

shiva said...

Apart from the stripes on the legs, it sounds a lot like the Kiang, or Tibetan wild ass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiang

The only otherwise unstriped equid which has stripes on its legs is the Somali wild ass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Somali_Wild_Ass.JPG (which is a subspecies of the ancestor of the domestic donkey).

From the pictures on Wikipedia, the Kiang is by far the most "horse-like" of the wild asses in appearance (to me it looks a lot more like a pony than a donkey). I'd imagine that with a local horse they could produce mules which would look "horsey" enough for their hybrid status not to be obvious, and if they're genetically closer to horses then enough of the mules might be fertile to produce a "horse" breed with some Kiang bloodlines in its ancestry...