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, March 21, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Sea monster or...

...unidentified Pinniped?

An event on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia, in 1913, as related here by Hartwell Conder : "Monsters in Seas, Rivers and Lakes". “The animal was seen by Oscar Davies and W. Harris : www.authorsden.com/ShortStoryUpload/2411.doc .

However close a sighting is, if the creature is in the water, the witness does not see its whole body. Occasionally, a sea monster is seen on land. This happened on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia in 1913, as related here by Hartwell Conder.

The animal was seen by Oscar Davies and W. Harris. I have known both of them for a number of yours [sic], and can guarantee their intelligence and accuracy. “They were walking along the coast when at a distance they noticed a dark object under the dunes, which surprised them by showing signs of movement. “They advanced toward it and came within gunshot. When about 40 yards off, it rose suddenly and rushed into the sea. After getting out about 30 yards it stopped and turned round, showing only the head, then withdrew under the water and disappeared. It was 15-feet long: had a very small head, about the size of the head of a kangaroo dog; it had a thick, arched neck; it had no definite tail and no fins; it was furry, the coat resembled a horse; it had four distinct legs, and it made definite footprints with a diameter of nine inches. There was no evidence of webbed feet.

The creature travelled very fast. When first discovered, it reared up and turned on its hind legs. Its height, standing on the four legs, would be from three-and-a-half to four-feet tall. Both men were familiar with seals and sea leopards. They could find no resemblance.

Bernard Heuvelmans commented on this sighting in his classic book, In the Wake of the Sea Serpents. He says the animal reminds him of a sea lion except that there are none in Tasmania and no sea lions are more than eight-feet long. Their footprints would not be so big, nor their heads small. Even such a close sighting as this takes us no nearer to identification.

An unidentified pinniped perhaps? Sounds like one, or maybe even Stellar’s sea cow.


Liz writes...

A while ago Jon mentioned on the blog that CFZ friend Beth Tyler-King was going to be on BBC2's 'See Hear' programme. Well, here she is, for those of you who missed the show on on the box....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first people to circumnavigate the earth in a hot air balloon.

And now, the news:

The world's only immortal animal
UAB research confirms the extinction of dinosaurs was not a gradual process
Rare geckos returned home

Why do jellyfish like camping?

Because they think ‘tents-are-cool’.

Barry (Great) White....

Perhaps bosses at a London aquarium mistook the late singer's unofficial title as 'Walrus of Love' too seriously and thought Big Barry had a talent for making sea-creatures randy.

Zorro was quite the Lothario when he was in a tank in Belgium's Sea Life aquarium so officials shipped him to the London branch to mate with lady loner Mazawabee. Despite being introduced to his new girlfriend on Valentine's Day, Zorro failed to take the hint and has merely become 'just good friends' with his new tankmate. Maybe it's because she doesn't speak Flemmish.

Now, usually the only music one associates with sharks is the famous Jaws theme tune, composed by John Williams. However, marine 'experts' have begun their attempt to get Zorro in the mood by playing him and his companion such love hits as Barry White's Never Gonna Give You Up and Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On.

I'm not making this up. Curator Paul Hale said, "Research shows that fish can appreciate different tunes and melodies so we decided to see if some good old-fashioned love songs will get them in the mood."