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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, January 31, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: I'd Go the Whole Wide World #4

Paraguay
Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America that I don’t know all that much more about. It is sometimes referred to as the heart of South America based on its location but I am sure it has some more points of attraction other than that and its cryptids.

To represent Paraguay I will have a look at one of the more remarkable mystery cat stories to be told.

Sometime in 1975 a large mystery cat weighing 160lb was shot in Paraguay. At the time it was recorded as being a mutant jaguar, a cracking description that conjures many an image, but does your imagination match the following?

Supposedly when zoologist Juan Acavar examined the animal’s corpse he discovered that it possessed fangs measuring 12 inches in length; quite remarkable, far longer than you would expect and enough to suggest that the mutant jaguar was nothing less than a Smilodon. A rather impressive identity as it is widely suggested that the Smilodon became extinct around 10,000 BC.

In best conspiracy tradition, as important as this sighting could be, the official line is that it was still only a mutant jaguar, after all the thought of sabre-toothed cats roaming the countryside could cause undue panic. Unfortunately there is still not enough evidence to suggest if the report is as good as it sounds, but who knows what might turn up one day.

Leaving tales of sabre-toothed cats behind, next we shall skip across the border to neighbouring Bolivia.

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