WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

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, April 01, 2012

EXTINCT ANIMAL SLIDESHOW

Our old mate Simon Reames always looks for interesting stuff for us. And you don't get much more interesting than: THIS

RIGHT ON DARREN

ResearchBlogging.org

Among the most controversial and remarkable of living tetrapods are the bizarre amphisbaenians: a group of fossorial, long-bodied carnivorous animals with reduced or absent limbs, spade-shaped or bullet-shaped skulls strongly modified for burrowing, and an annulated body where distinct, regularly arranged transverse segments give the animals a worm-like appearance. [Adjacent image combines diagram from Gans (1974) with photograph of Amphisbaena bakeri by Father Alejandro Sanchez, used with p

ermission]. Until recently it was generally thought that amphisbaenians are reptiles, and part of Squamata (the reptile group that includes snakes and lizards). But, in a fascinating case of multi-disciplinary co-operation involving genetics, neophenetics, and good old-fashioned critical thinking, intuition and balls, a daring group of feisty young zoologists have challenged the old guard of the ‘Mammals are Derived Synapsids, y’all’ (or MADsy) school of thought, and have demonstrated that these are not mere squirmy reptiles. They are, in fact, the true ancestors of mammals.



Read more...

APRIL FOOLS: The Bowness Crocodile..

I love April Fool's Day, and am always happy when some have a crypto tinge...

“BOWNESSIE” COULD BE PET CROC' “SNAPPY” | Lakeland Radio
By lakesnews
Many people have reported seeing a creature similar to the Loch Ness Monster in the water. Now, hotellier Tim Berry claims the sightings are his pet crocodile, called Snappy. The animal - licensed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of ...
Lakeland Radio

CFZ PEOPLE: Beth Anne Emery

Many thanks to Beth Anne Emery for her kind donation. The ten dollars will go towards filters for the new caecilian breeding tank. After six years the old tank is leaking quite badly and we are moving them from the 36" to a 48" tank.. Thanks my dear

ROBERT SCHNECK: Six-legged Suicide Bombers

It's reached the point where entomologists could announce that ants are publishing their own little newspapers and I would believe it.

"Several south-east Asian species of ant in the Camponotus cylindricus group (i.e. carpenter ants) have enlarged mandibular glands that extend into their gaster (the bulbous posterior portion found in bees, wasps and ants). When disturbed, the ants rupture the membrane of the gaster, causing a burst of secretions containing chemicals – the largest gland reservoirs yet known in ants – that immobilize small insect attackers and kills the ant.
Or, as the folks at Newscientist.com put it, “The ants of Borneo go out with a bang, thanks to a body built to blow up during a suicidal death grip.”
In other words, the six-legged blast-ended ant grabs onto the invading enemy and squeezes itself to death, literally blowing itself up and shpritzing a deadly sticky yellow goo everywhere, killing both intruder and ant.
And these little suicide bombers operate on a hair-trigger; their abdomen walls ruptured even when researchers lightly touched them!"

Read the rest of the article at http://koshersamurai.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/kamikaze-ants-they-blow-themselves-up-real-good/

"Someone get this ant 70 doe-eyed virgins!"

NEIL ARNOLD: Big Cat Evidence

I find it rather strange that numerous publications dealing with 'big cat' stories seem reliant on blurry images of alleged 'big cats' rather than actual evidence to support their existence. It's interesting to note the lack evidence that came forward when the Surrey puma flap took place in the 1960s, and even when the 'beast of Exmoor' hit the headlines in the '80s, only a few sheep carcasses - most of which were the work of dogs and then scavengers - were put forward as evidence. When we had the snowfall earlier this year, a woman, based in Ashford in Kent reported she'd found a set of huge paw prints running up her garden towards her back door. Her domestic cat had begun to behave very strangely too.

Now, these are the sort of things you read about time and time again in newspaper reports - often the paw prints are indistinct, and the stories overblown. Rarely do newspapers focus on the solid evidence such as rasped animal carcasses, scat and the more obscure evidence such as hair etc. The Ashford woman thought nothing of the paw prints until shortly afterwards she found something very unusual on her doorstep. A huge six-inch long whisker. The whisker, which has come from a leopard, was sent to me, and the image can be seen. The whisker, which was broken off, is not the sort of thing people find in the countryside when looking for 'big cats'. However, when found, it stands up as excellent evidence. Naturalist Jon McGowan confirmed my suspicions that the whisker had come from a large cat - the colouration, showing an almost two-tone shade, the tapering shape, and the almost bone-like feel to it, as well as the length highlight the fact this is not the sort of whisker left by a domestic cat or dog.

There is so much evidence in the countryside, people must be walking by it all the time without realising. Mind you, in some cases people even step on it! Attached is an image of some leopard scat - which someone had trod on, found in the last week, this is the sort of thing people should be looking for. The scat is often entirely full of deer fur. The deer, sheep and fox carcasses are mounting up too. In one stretch of woodland a contact of mine has found several fox and deer carcasses, some fresh, some older where a black leopard has been seen. A trigger camera has been set up but I'm not holding my breath. Cats are notoriously shy animals, fully aware of a location where there's been human activity. A goat has also recently been found completely stripped in the Dartford area. I'd take this sort of evidence any time over a blurry image



BIG CAT NEWS: One from Buckinghamshire, and two from across the pond

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD


Is there a big cat on the loose in Bucks?
Beaconsfield Advertiser
A DEER found mutilated in a wood could have been attacked by a big cat, according to experts. Professional photographer Simon Sarin, of Churchill Drive in Knotty Green, found the deer carcass in Sandels and Netherlands Wood in Beaconsfield last week ...

We have a picture of a bloke who looks like one of Oasis but no picture of the carcass of the deer. There is not much that one can say to that. That's all for the UK but there are a couple of mildly interesting stories from the other side of the Atlantic...

Sheep and cat kills blamed on cougar
McMinnville News-Register

She said a caller had reported spotting a large cat with a long tail walking alongside Riverside Drive about 2:30 in the morning. Howard has a 60-foot-long lean-to where his sheep can take refuge from the elements, but open along one entire side, ...

WILDLIFE: Finding freeways for mountain lions
Press-Enterprise

If the cat — now known as F90 — does either, it would be good news for the beleaguered population of about 30 cougars that remain in the Santa Ana Mountains. The big cats have become increasingly isolated as their historic habitat is chopped up by ...

HARRIET ON HER SCHOOL WEBSITE


Buckler’s Mead Pupil has Book Published

Year 8 Pupil Harriet Wadham has ventured on her way to stardom having her book, “Left Behind”, published.

CFZ Press said: " Harriet is most certainly a talent to watch, and I look forward to, when in 10 years time she has won some famous literary prize, being able to say that not only was I one of the first people to notice her burgeoning talent, but that we were the first publishing house to get one of her books onto the market". "

https://slp3.somerset.gov.uk/schools/bmcs/default.aspx

HAUNTED SKIES: Sunday Mirror 16.10.66



OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

CFZ CANADA: Sasquatch – from the bottom up part 2; Hot Legs

So far, all we have as “evidence” for the legs of the Sasquatch are witness testimony and some grainy images. This makes learning about the anatomy of the legs of the beast a challenge - and doesn’t leave any theories a leg to stand on.
Read on...

DALE DRINNON: Don't be a fool

In "Honour" of April Fool's Day ALL my blogs are taking the day off. I wouldn't want to be giving anyone the wrong ideas about anything, even indirectly.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

BIG CAT NEWS: Dan Holdsworth re. The Padiham Panther

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.
There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD



This came up on an email list I am on.

http://bit.ly/FVD1Z4

To be serious now, that reference to the "Padiham Panther"; that area is about the least likely spot for a big cat I can think of anywhere in the Padiham area. It isn't a moor, but rough grassland mostly used for horse grazing. The lady who reported lives overlooking the Leeds
Liverpool canal, the towing path of which is a popular dog-walking and cycling route.

The area she was looking at has several farms in it, and is crossed by a number of foot paths. There's a bit of woodland there, but not much, and no deer that I have ever heard of (though the area is heaving with rats).

Anyway, I'll have a shufti around there for a while; odds are she's just seen some farm moggie and mis-identified it.

BIG CAT NEWS: Yet another visit from the Beast of Smallthorne (Seems appropriate given the date)

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.
There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD



MATTHEW WILLIAMS WRITES

News for CirclemakersTV... we have a fast broadband connection again - back to 80k up from 40k... so back to Devizes old studio standards. Yay... so expect better quality live from future shows. Ofcourse youtube uploads will be the same perfect quality but its nice that people watching live will no longer have to suffer a slighter slower jerkier quality. So the Bstards couldnt keep us down! Ha.
We will do a test show at the increased data rate soon and hopefully the results will be pleasing.
Also we have some interesting news on telepathic coincidences in making crop circles which was revealled to me in a very syncronistic meeting. More on this exciting and intriguing story on the next show.