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...

Search This Blog


Saturday, January 23, 2010


How scary are snails? Not very, you might think, unless you’re a cabbage. The largest land snail, the African giant land snail (Achatina achatina), reaches 15 inches. In the seas the Australian trumpet (Syrinx aruanus) can grow to over 35 inches and weighing 18kg. This is larger than the biggest known prehistoric snail, the Eocene sea snail Campanile giganteum (left), which had a shell of 23.6 inches.

With shell-less gastropods the black sea hare (Aplysia vaccaria) holds the record at 38.9 inches and a weight of 14kg. On land the the record is held by the keelback slug known as Limax cinereoniger, which can reach 12 inches and is found in much of Europe, including the UK.

Of course some gastropods are carnivores. The Florida rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea) is a predatory species introduced to Taihiti to control giant land snails, also introduced by man, because they had become a pest. Instead of feeding on the land snails, the wolfsnails proceeded to devour the native Partula species, eating 51 of the 76 endemic snails into extinction. Now that’s scary!

In the folklore of southwest France the Lou-carcolh is a monster, man-eating snail. Its shell is as big as a hill and its mouth is surrounded by hairy, slimy tentacles (radula?) that it shoots out to capture its prey. It is a subterranean beast and drags its victims underground to eat them.

The French city of Hastingues is nick-named Carcolh because it is situated on a rounded hill. The men of Hastingues used to say to pretty girls "The carcolh will catch you!"

1 comment:

Tabitca said...

I used to like snails, not to eat, but just because they were interesting . I have gone off them a bit now lol. Really interesting though Richard, a cryptid snail!

Though a giant man eating snail ....sounds like a 50's B movie(Of which I am inordinately fond). It could be called "The Slime Creature" or something. :)