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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Monday, February 02, 2015

THE CRYPTODANE: The tales of two sets of tusks - and a little bit of unicorn lore

The unicorn must be one of the most well known, and dare I say legendary legendary beasts. Much has been written about these creatures, and about how the stories of them originated, so I shall refrain from doing so again. Instead I will tell a little story or two about the narwhal - this strange small arctic whale who has supplied one of the key ingredients of the story of the unicorn - the horn. Actually the tooth - the front tooth of the narwhal. This is long - sometimes very long - twisted and made of very hard and dense ivory.
What the whales actually use them for is a matter of debate. Some say they are the whale equivalent of antlers. Some say they are used to root around in the bottom of the sea for the various prey animals of the narwhals. And some say they are simply weapons - or perhaps a combination of all three. What ever their use, they have been highly valued an indeed prized through the ages. Even today, where the superstition have been stripped away, a good size narwhal tusk is worth a fortune.

Read on...

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