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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Monday, February 14, 2011

RICHARD FREEMAN: SILLY THINGS BEING MISTAKEN FOR MONSTERS

Here is one of the most comical cases of human stupidity. I mean, what were these people thinking?

In the 1930s scientists speculated that penguins could be introduced from the Antarctic to the Arctic. They thought that the emperor penguin might fill the same ecological niche once occupied by the great auk (Pinguinus impennis) before it was hunted into extinction in 1844.

To this end in 1936 a team from the Norwegian Nature Protection Society led by Carl Schoyen released nine emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in northern Norway. In 1938 a separate group released several macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) and jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus) into the same region. The experiment was not a success. The birds were unable to cope with the warmer climate and plethora of land-based predators that were unknown in the Antarctic. Most died out quickly but some of the emperor penguins lingered on into the 1940s. The one that met the strangest end was an individual who was moulting. A local farmer saw a shaggy-coated, upright beast four feet tall with what looked like a long, pointed nose. The scared woman killed it with a shot gun; apparently she had mistaken it for a troll!

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