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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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It is the day before the Weird Weekend, and not quite nine o'clock. Corinna is doing her inimitable thing in the kitchen, and I am slightly blearily listening to Wagner in the office as I sip coffee in a desultory manner and prepare myself for the horrors of the day ahead. My medication is somewhat Russian Roulette-like: some days I wake up feeling full of the joys of spring; others I feel queasy and slightly mad. This is one of the latter days, and six pints in the Farmers Arms last night probably didn't help.

However, as I sit here trying to dispell the legion of tap-dancing daemons that are progressing up and down my spine (wearing gumboots), my mind goes to Mountain Chickens.

Mountain Chickens may live on mountains but they are not chickens at all; they're actually a fantastic froggie. The picture above was taken by me and the missus in the autumn of 2006 when we went to Jersey to see Durrel Wildlife.

But they have been in the news today, hence my rambling excuse of a story:

A rather disturbing bit of video
A news story about the fungus threat to the species
Durrell's page on the species
Durrell's blog on the species

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

Mountain Chickens!

When I was growing up, there was this show on public broadcasting called "Reading Rainbow," which was designed to get children into reading books. It was hosted by LeVar Burton (of Star Trek and Roots fame).

The episodes focused around some story book, which was turned into partial animation and narrated by a celebrity.

One episode was about Montserrat and story took place there. In that story, there were mountain chickens. And later in the episode LeVar actually went mountain chicken hunting in Montserrat.


Gosh, you remember weird things from your childhood. I hadn't thought about Mountain chickens since I was maybe 7 or 8 year old.

It was from that same program (different episode) that I learned where monarch (but not viceroy) butterflies go in the winter and how butterflies taste with their "toes."