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, February 03, 2012

LARS THOMAS: A little something for the blog

Hi Jon,

Whilst pursuing one of my minor hobbies (the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci) I stumbled upon this drawing done by the great man probably in 1513, intitled 'Studies of cats and other animals.' All well and good - I see several cats, something looking like a lion and perhaps a couple of bears fighting. But what is that thing just below and to the right of the middle of the drawing? I know Leonardo did several drawings of costumes and set pieces for theatre, one of which a large dragon, but he usually labeled his drawings and made various notes about them. But this creature is just inserted in between all the 'regular' animals. Ideas anyone??



Dale Drinnon said...

It is meant as a "Real" dragon I suspect-Dragons were still "Real" animals at the time. I suspect it is a stylized drawing representing a large monitor lizard from Egypt or the Near East-you could get drawins of "Dragons" from those areas in the 1500s and they were presumably meant to represent large monitor lizards.

The proportions of the creature are about right for a monitor, but the twisting of the body is unnatural and comes from "Arty" tradition. Not to say really "Artistic" because it was always pretentious: ordinary crocodiles were also shown with corkscrew coils in the same manner. So were ordinary dolphins.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

roger s said...

And there's another oddity just to the left of center at the bottom.
I'm a country boy and the only things I've ever seen with corkscrew tails is...pigs.
Yeah - What's all this wierdness?

roger s said...

And there's another one to the left of center at the bottom.
I'm a country boy and the only things I've ever seen anywhere with corkscrew tails are...pigs. And these aren't pigs.
DaVinci was nothing if not accurate in his drawings. Now I'm curious, too.
What's with those critters?