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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Friday, February 24, 2012

JON'S JOURNAL: We shall pick up an existence by its frogs

As regular readers of my rambling will know, I have been following the progress of the poor unfortunate froggies of two areas just outside the village - Kennerland and Huddisford. Lots of them jollily tripped out to procreate at the end of January, and all the resultant spawn was killed in the bitterly cold snap a few weeks ago and is now rotting away.

The resultant yucky mess (to use the official scientific terminology) is now rotting away and in some cases appears to acually be fouling the water of the little ponds and ditches where it was deposited by Mr and Mrs Frog the other week.

Now Mr and Mrs Frog seem to have got in the romantic mood again (or at least one couple have - perhaps because it was Valentine's Day last week), because there is one lone batch of frogspawn in the Huddisford ditch. Ironically (if this is the word) it has been laid next to a piece of decaying dead spawn.

It seems to be developing normally, which is good news. However, could the decline in the frog population be due to the fact that so many of them pursue their biological urges too early in the year for the spawn to hatch?

Isn't it a pity that it seems to be illegal now to collect spawn from the wild; because it might be a boost to the population as a whole if someone collected some of the January spawn (which is doomed anyway), raised it in captivity and released the resulting tadpoles when the cold weather is over?

What a pity there aren't any anarchist zoologists about who have a healthy disregard for the law and want to do something good for the environment. Hmmmm

Oh, BTW I was wondering the other day: if I was to post a picture of a pair of Rana temporaria whilst in amplexus would that count as "Frog's porn"?

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