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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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RICHARD FREEMAN: The Daemons of Dreamtime Part 1

Pre-eminent in the pantheon of mythical beasts is the Rainbow Serpent. This is a gigantic snake with multi-hued scales. During the Dreamtime or Altjeringa, an infinite spiritual cycle that exists outside of normal time, the Rainbow Serpent created river and waterholes as it crawled across the land. The Rainbow Serpent is liked to rainfall and the control of water in the same way Asian dragons are.

The Rainbow Serpent has many names in different parts of Australia; these include Borlung, Ngalyod and Wonambi. This last name was incorporated into the scientific name of a giant Madtsoid snake Wonambi naracoortensis whose fossils have been found at Naracoorte, South Australia. This huge snake live fairly recently and would have been known to early Aborigines. It has been postulated that it may have been the inspiration for the Rainbow Serpent. It grew to around six meters long. Another candidate at ten meters was Bluff Downs giant python Liasis dubudinala although at 4.5 million years old it lived well before the time of modern humans. Early Aborigines may have unearthed its fossil bones however. Another giant Australian python was named Montypythonoides riversleighensis. This nine metre snake lived even earlier at 15 million years ago.

1 comment:

Dr Karl Shuker said...

Tragically, the wonderfully named Montypythonoides riversleighensis has lately been renamed Morelia riversleighensis. Taxonomists clearly have no sense of humour!