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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Sunday, October 31, 2010

RICHARD FREEMAN: Daemons of the Dreamtime #5

Whowhie was a flesh-eating monster the size of a whale. It had a frog-like head with big, dark eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth. It had a long tail and six legs. The monster lived in a cave beneath the Murray River. At night it emerged and searched for campfires to lead it to human prey. Whowhie could devour whole tribes in one night.

The Aborigines defeated the monster by piling up brushwood around all the entrances to its lair as it slept then setting fire to the tinder dry material and smoking Whowhie to death. Some think this monster is a distorted memory of the giant monitor lizard Megalania prisca that would have hunted early human settlers in Australia.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

This matter ALWAYS comes up in discussions of this sort.

Although it has been in continual use since its invention and remains common in the popular media, the nomen "Megalania prisca" has been actually INVALID since its invention. This is because it was named using fossils of more than one giant reptile in its description.

Heuvelmans uses the variation "Varanus prisca" which would be more accurate since it is a monitor lizard. There is also however the side issue of whether or not all monitors belong in the same genus, the differences between some of the species are as great as the differences between whole ORDERS of birds.

Taxonomy, ya gotta love it!