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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, January 23, 2011

LARS THOMAS: The beetle that came back

For the last couple of years I have started taking an interest in insects - especially the photographing of said creatures. I especially like to root around in old decaying tree trunks 'cause you never know what you might bump into - and some of the creatures living in and off decaying wood are rather special. One day in late April last year I was doing exactly that when an old piece of beech revealed two small and rather colourful beetles. I had no idea what species they were but one of them was rather obliging and kept still long enough for me to take a few pictures of it.

Back home I tryed to identify it but without success. My insect literature was not up to the task so I posted it on a Danish website called Fugle og Natur (Bird and Nature) where all sorts of experts help people identify all sort of things. Within a couple of hours a Norwegian beetle expert came back with an answer. The species was Mycetophagus fulvicollis, and it was, as he said "quite rare". That was fun, I thought, and entered my observation into a Danish database, where all kinds of sightings are held for researchers, and environmental organisations and so forth can study them at their leasure.

Now quite rare is fine by me, but just how rare my beetles were I didn't realize until a few days ago when I suddenly received an email requesting more information about my observation. Apparently someone had stumbled upon my sighting and had done a double take, or perhaps had fallen over in a faint. It turns out that Mycetophagus fulvicollis was declared extinct in Denmark in 1997. Quite rare, indeed!

1 comment:

Syd said...

Nice one, Lars.
The CFZ can bask in the reflected glory.