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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In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


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Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm pleased to announce that the first issue of Amphibia-Reptilia (2011) is available on-line on Ingenta to subscribers: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/amre/2011/00000032/00000001

It includes 10 articles, 5 short-notes, 1 book review and the editorial report 2009.

Best wishes and Happy New Year,

Mathieu Denoƫl F.R.S. - FNRS Research Associate
Co-Editor of Amphibia-Reptilia Behavioural Biology Unit
University of Liege22 Quai van Beneden4020 Liege (Belgium)
Tel: (+32) 04.366.50.84

Web site: http://www.etho.ulg.ac.be/denoel/home.html

Orbi (publications): http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/simple-search?locale=en&query=denoel+mathieu

DALE DRINNON: Tibetan Blue Bears

I have this page from a cryptozoology site in Italian but I don't have a good English translation for it. I'll send the link through anyway:


And I have a Babel Fish translation for what I thought was the important part further down:

The Dre-Mo word in fact is used in Tibet in order to define the different variety of tawny[brown] bear, together to " Chemo" , " Chemong" , " Dredmo" and " Dremo". Considered the totally quadruped travelling point, lthe absence of visible heels in the feet, and the way with which the animal was procuring the food, is convinced that it was be a matter of a normal bear.

Interesting but to notice as the monk it insisted in the fact that the Dre-Mo is different from the " gorilla" , using in order to define quest' last the word " Me; , with which in Tibet, together to the names " Me; , " Megur" , " Miegye" , " Migeye" , " Mighu" , " Migio" , " Migu" , " Migyur" , " Mirgod" , " Mirka" , " Ui-go" , the yeti is designated meant like a various creature dall' bear and similar to the monkey, that it possesses long hair much on the head.

--This is all very good and pretty definite information: The Dremo is the "Big Hairy Monster" confused with the Yeti that turns out to be a large brown (Blue) bear. Its overall appearance and stance make that much pretty certain.


And the Brown bear has a peculiar non-human stance when standing up on its hind legs


That is depicted as what the DreMo is like:

Note the way the forelimbs are held, and the fact that the forepaws have CLAWS. The way the back legs are bent and the line of the back are also typical of a large brown bear. The humanlike face would be the most inaccurate part of the depiction, but seen front-on the face of a brown bear looks a good deal flatter than it really is.

Another striking feature is that this creature is differentiated from what the Tibetan monk wants translated as a "Gorilla", the "Standard" Yeti type. It would seem there is a bigger "Gorilla" and a smaller "Chimp" involved in reports of the type, but it does seem clear that although there is a clear case of complete confusion, there is also a basic distinction in the Native mind between apelike and bearlike creatures.

It would be easier to say "The bearlike creature reports are the bigger ones and the apelike creature reports are the smaller ones" but unfortunately that part is not so clear-cut either.

--Best Wishes, Dale D.

[Standing Bear photo is copyright by Jim Braswell, all others from the originating website but for the stamp, which is presumably issued under the authority of the government of Bhutan. Reprinted for educational purposes and no infringement on any of the copyrights is intended]

OLL LEWIS: Panda Diplomacy

As part of the recent trade agreements between the UK and China, Edinburgh Zoo and the Zoological Society of Scotland have signed an agreement with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association to enable them to house a breeding pair of pandas.

This is quite an event because these days China is extremely picky about who gets its pandas, applicants having to satisfy some political requirements as well as the quite stringent ecological ones.

“This historical agreement is a gift to the people of the UK from China,” said China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming.

“It will represent an important symbol of our friendship and will bring our two people closer together.”

The chief executive officer of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), David Windmill, said: “This is a landmark day for RZSS, Edinburgh Zoo, the UK and China.

"It represents the beginning of a programme of research, education and partnership and the project has huge benefit for the UK and Scotland, both in supporting giant panda conservation and in enhancing our programmes in education, science and conservation."

Not everyone is impressed, though. Charity 'OneKind' did not see the merits of having a breeding pair of pandas in the UK. The charity's research manager, Ross Minett, said: “In this day and age, the prospect of two animals being transported from their homeland across the world so that the paying public in Scotland can see them in a cage in a zoo raises serious animal welfare concerns and is outlandish.”

“This is a commercial deal: the animals may appear to be diplomatic gifts - an outdated concept in itself - but in fact the zoo will pay a substantial fee for the lease of these animals.

“The Scottish and UK governments should ask themselves whether their support for this project is really in line with modern concepts of animal welfare and conservation.

“International conservation organisations like the World Wide Fund for Nature favour an approach that protects the panda's habitat and allows the natural population to grow, and if Edinburgh Zoo is serious about conservation it should be throwing its support behind local projects in China.”

I have actually been following this story for a while, though, and can address one of the concerns that Ross Minett raised: the fee he mentioned was actually a donation by the RZSS to help future conservation projects in China.


Rare monk seal colony found in the Mediterranean http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9317000/9317582.stm

6 rare frogs found in Haiti


First it was mangy coyotes, now it's rusty alligators:



Richard Freeman's new book, The Great Yokai Encyclopedia: An A to Z of Japanese Monsters, is an appropriately Godzilla-sized book (it runs to 416 pages!) and is a definitive look at the strange creatures and beasts of Japan, both in times past and the present day. A wealth of dedication, hard work and diligent study has gone into making this book a triumphant tour de force on one of the most sadly overlooked aspects of cryptozoology, monster-hunting and strange creatures.

Collectively known as the Yokai, the monsters of Japan are largely unknown in the West. But by addressing the cultural background that gave rise to these legends, and then listing the creatures in detailed encyclopaedic form, however, Richard Freeman has now firmly and decisively rectified that situation for one and all.

This is a truly magical title that demonstrates not only Freeman's love and appreciation of Japan's rich folklore, history and mythology of a monstrous nature, but that also reveals his profound knowledge of the subject, too - not to mention his patience in putting the mighty tome together in the first place! Freeman writes in an informative and entertaining style that ensures you'll keep turning the book's pages to learn what is coming next.

I recommend The Great Yokai Encyclopedia to anyone and everyone that wishes to learn more about the fantastic beasts, mythical monsters, unknown animals, and creepy critters of Japan. Winged monsters, dragons, man-beasts, water goblins and much more - they all feature within the packed pages of this book. Invest in a copy and you won't be disappointed!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1179 the order of the knights templar was given formal approval by Pope Honorius II.
And now, the news:

'Pink meanie,' new species of giant jellyfish, ide...
Alcohol poisoning, not avian flu, killed Romanian ...

What happens when birds get drunk? Radical penguins lead them astray, that's what!