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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Friday, November 26, 2010

DAVID BRAUND-PHILLIPS: A bet about seahorses

The other evening David and his girlfriend Jess were talking about the blog. "I bet you can't just sit down and write a blog about...um SEAHORSES!" said Jess. "I bet I can" said David...

Seahorses; or Hippocampus, which means 'Horse Caterpillar'; are a small unusually-shaped fish that can be found in many areas of the globe. There are two species around British coastline: the spiny seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) and the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus).

Both seahorses can be found from the Shetland Isles down the west coast of the UK (and all around Ireland) and along the south coast of England.

There are between 30 and 40 species of seahorses worldwide, and possibly as many sub-species. It is often difficult for scientists to identify seahorses because individuals of the same species can vary greatly in appearance.

New species continue to be found. They live in shallow weedy areas. In winter they move into deeper waters to escape the rough weather.

The point behind the writing of this blog is to make everyone aware of the danger even a small animal like this can find itself in from human threats.

As conservation is becoming an ever larger part of working and learning about animals.

The biggest threats to this particular fish are:

  • * The traditional Chinese medicine trade takes in excess of 20 million seahorses a year from the wild and these are used for all types of medicine.

  • * The Curio trade takes approximately one million seahorses from the wild a year. Along with shells and starfish, they are deliberately taken from the sea and left to die in the boiling sun. They are then sold as souvenirs.

* The pet trade takes an estimated one million seahorses a year.

These are also very common threats to many species around the world.

There are many organisations doing a brilliant job to help the seahorse, with various successful breeding projects and research activity to give the seahorse the best possible chance. However, as with all things, we have to ask is it enough?

1 comment:

Corinna said...

Well done Dave. I hope you took your suit with you to Bristol... it was a sumptious dinner for two at a high class restaurant that you won wasn't it?

Love to Jess x