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:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Friday, November 26, 2010

INDIA EXPEDITION: Second Video Report

INDIA EXPEDITION: Second Video Report

MORE PICTURES FROM INDIA (Captions by Richard Freeman)

A fallen tree blocked the trail up into Nokrek National Park.
We had to cut it up with a saw!

A shot of the jungle at Nokrek. It is some of the most undisturbed
rainforest in India and the home of the wild ancestor of the orange.

The nest of a wild boar found on our first day at Nokrek.
The mande-burung is said to build huge nests by
twisting branches together to form a kind of roof.

A view of the beautiful Simsang (rice pot) river at Baghimara.
Of an evening I read Kipling's Jungle Books
(so cheapened and bastardised by Disney)
overlooking the Simsang as the sun went down.

This is a whip scorpion captured by Dave Archer.
Despite appearances, it is harmless due to lacking a sting like true scorpions.


Dear Jon,

Why not write a book about that strangest of creatures... The Green-Eyed Monster? He does not need a full moon to transform him into a beast; just a simple glance at someone else's achievements is enough to send it into a foaming at the mouth rage.

I speak, of course, of Richard's detractors. The poor bloke cannot do right for doing wrong! His reputation is hauled over the coals for simply presenting the evidence he has gathered. Yet if they doubt what he says then the answer is simple....GET OFF YOUR LAZY ARSES AND DO THE RESEARCH YOURSELVES! But of course they won't, as there is too much pizza to consume and 'I'm a celebrity, increase my bank balance' on the TV to watch.

It seems some people are capable of being able to cause an argument in an empty house!


Davey C

CFZ forever!

DAVID BRAUND-PHILLIPS: A bet about seahorses

The other evening David and his girlfriend Jess were talking about the blog. "I bet you can't just sit down and write a blog about...um SEAHORSES!" said Jess. "I bet I can" said David...

Seahorses; or Hippocampus, which means 'Horse Caterpillar'; are a small unusually-shaped fish that can be found in many areas of the globe. There are two species around British coastline: the spiny seahorse (Hippocampus Guttulatus) and the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus).

Both seahorses can be found from the Shetland Isles down the west coast of the UK (and all around Ireland) and along the south coast of England.

There are between 30 and 40 species of seahorses worldwide, and possibly as many sub-species. It is often difficult for scientists to identify seahorses because individuals of the same species can vary greatly in appearance.

New species continue to be found. They live in shallow weedy areas. In winter they move into deeper waters to escape the rough weather.

The point behind the writing of this blog is to make everyone aware of the danger even a small animal like this can find itself in from human threats.

As conservation is becoming an ever larger part of working and learning about animals.

The biggest threats to this particular fish are:

  • * The traditional Chinese medicine trade takes in excess of 20 million seahorses a year from the wild and these are used for all types of medicine.

  • * The Curio trade takes approximately one million seahorses from the wild a year. Along with shells and starfish, they are deliberately taken from the sea and left to die in the boiling sun. They are then sold as souvenirs.

* The pet trade takes an estimated one million seahorses a year.

These are also very common threats to many species around the world.

There are many organisations doing a brilliant job to help the seahorse, with various successful breeding projects and research activity to give the seahorse the best possible chance. However, as with all things, we have to ask is it enough?



Our old friend Simon Reames, who we first met back in 1998 when as a schoolboy he followed Graham's and Jon's adventures in Puerto Rico, sent this peculiar story about flying squid.

Once, while boating off the coast of Jamaica in 2001, marine biologist Silvia Maciá and her husband caught a glimpse of an oddly familiar creature leaping from the waves, soaring with ease over the surface of the ocean. As the animal propelled itself for some 30 feet, Maciá realised she was witnessing the most unusual sight -- a flying squid. So intrigued by what she saw that day, Maciá would go on to co-author a paper examining similar observations, though essential photographic evidence of the incredible phenomenon remained elusive. That is, until now.


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1978 Harvey Milk was assassinated.
And now, the news:

Secrets of Sharks' Success: Flexible Scales Enable...
Kokako discovery in New Zealand
New bird species recognised in Australia – Critica...
Shocking images: possums and stoats eat kea chicks...
Record number of whales slaughtered in the Faroe I...
Dinosaur Die-Off Cleared Way for Gigantic Mammals ...
Army ants are creators not destroyers of worlds

Thanks ants: