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...

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Just as I was about to email today's links out to the newsgroups etc, my anti-virus threw a wobbly and the main office computer has been down ever since. It is now 10:20pm and Graham and I are still hoping that we will get it fixed tonight. Keep yer fingers crossed.

Many thanks to Dale for posting the details on as far as he could. Hopefully things will be back to normal by tomorrow morning.

I think it looks like it will be a long night...


You can take part in Make Your Nature Count from now until 12 June. It’s an easy, one-hour survey of the wildlife in your garden or local park.

We want to find out how garden birds are doing. We’re also keen to know if you've seen other animals including badgers, bats, snakes or frogs.

The survey is quick and fun to do. Don't forget to submit your results! We’ll use them to build an important snapshot of summer wildlife in UK gardens. We’ll find out which species are thriving and which might need our help.




Text and photographs by David Marshall

The Blue Reef Aquarium, Portsmouth is situated at Southsea and is set against a tranquil promenade, where you can walk for several miles without hardly coming across the ‘trappings and hard sell’ of most other U.K. sea-side towns.

The tranquillity of Southsea makes a perfect backdrop for a Blue Reef Aquarium.

The entrance to the Aquarium.

As you enter the Aquarium you are in a section called ‘Close Encounters’. At once you are face-to-face with the most incredible Triggerfish exhibit I have ever seen. Sharing this large opened topped exhibit are Bull-huss, Sea Bass and Bream. I stood here, transfixed, for ages. If you have never seen the incredible teeth of Triggerfish then stand here for a while and these ‘show offs’ will end their routine by letting you see their dentition to full effect.

The amazing Triggerfish exhibit.

A ‘close encounter with Triggerfish’ is something the Author will always remember.

Three small native marine displays follow before another spectacular display comes into view. Here you are looking into a large, and very deep, aquarium that is home to large tropical marine fish that include White-tipped Sharks, Stingrays and Panther Groupers. This sets the scene for a further eleven tropical marine displays. These vary in size and dimensions but what does not change is that they all hold wonderful displays of fish and/or invertebrates in the best of health. Sue and I loved the ‘World of iridescence’ and here the neon blue-green body colours of fish such as Blue Chromis and Sgt. Major fish glow in specially chosen lighting. The Nautilus look like remnants of a lost age and some fellow visitors were almost afraid of these creatures. These displays end with a small walk through ‘Sea of Cortez’ tunnel where Pork fish, Ramora, Lipstick Tang and a number of other species swim above and around your head.

The amazing ‘World of iridescence’ display.

One of a number of excellent tropical marine displays.

Tucked away amongst the above is a splendid brackish biotope aquarium with plants that trail from a wall into the water. Among mangrove roots, rocks and bogwood swim Scats, Anableps livebearers, Archerfish and Fingerfish. Stunning viewing!

Gigantic Mirror Carp

Turn a corner and you are into ‘Otter Holt’. The first display is a cylindrical aquarium that is home to a shoal of variously sized Red-bellied Piranha. ‘Wow’! was the spoken word as we found ourselves against a large indoor pond, fed by a fountain, that is home to ‘baby whale’ Mirror Carp and Sturgeon. To see this exhibit is worth the entry fee alone. This section ends, as the name suggests, with a family of very playful, and beautiful, Asian Short-clawed Otters.

Nile Monitor.

Although Buenos Aires Tetras and White Clouds share an aquarium with a large Snapping Turtle we are in a ‘fish void’ mini-zoo area known as ‘Weird and wonderful’. This section is home to displays of Green Iguana, Yellow Anaconda, Nile Monitor, various Frogs, Axolotls and Turtles.

Yellow Anaconda.

Finally, we find ourselves in the ‘Blue Reef Nursery’. Here are temporary exhibits of creatures bred at the Aquarium and others that are in quarantine before moving to permanent exhibits. At the time of our visit Common Clownfish were ‘stealing the show’ with their wonderful body colours.

If we forget the fact that some of the species information boards seem sparse in the information they relay to the visitor, then the Blue Reef Aquarium at Portsmouth is excellent. We found less native marine exhibits that we had expected but here they ‘push the boat out’ to display tropical marine creatures in all their glory. Sue liked the fact that from the moment you walk through the door you are met by friendly staff and that soothing, and very apt, music is played from the beginning to the end of your visit.

In conclusion this Public Aquarium is well worth a visit. You will find an excellent variety of aquatic creatures on display - all of which are in excellent health and are well cared for.

HAUNTED SKIES: Pink Flying Saucers in 1967


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1910 short story author O Henry died.

And now the news:

You could have a video about climate change or you could have a video of a cat talking to a moth for just random jolliness, which will it be?