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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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Thursday, May 03, 2012

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: SOME PECULIARITIES ABOUT AN OTTER IN 19TH CENTURY CHINA

There is an interesting note in Glover M. Allen`s ` The Mammals of China and Mongolia` concerning a certain species of otter. Whilst trying (and failing) to find mention of otters in Hong Kong I did find the following quite interesting comment in Part 1 of said book:

“At a trading station in Hainan Swinhoe (1870a p.229) (1) procured three skins and noted the difference between these and the skins of other otters , the minute pointless claws, toes longer and more fully webbed than in Aonyx, and the relatively long first toe of the hind foot. He believed that it was different from Malacca specimens in its longer tail and lack of a white throat. He adds that the bones of this otter found in caverns are ground by the Chinese and applied to wounds from poisoned arrows in order to absorb the poison. The natives in Hainan believe that this is a cross between the common otter and the gibbon and it is there known as “Mountain otter”. Anderson (1879, p.213) (2) records that he found otters of this genus in western Yunnan , in the hills to the eastward of Bhamo, Burma. Two skins that he procured seemed brighter colored than the average Micraonyx cinera.

Other than these, there are no definite records of the small-clawed otters in southern China”
(3)

1. Robert Swinhoe Zoological Notes of a journey from Canton to Peking and Kalgan Proc. Zoo. Soc.Lon 1870 pp 427-451
2. John Anderson Anatomical and zoological researches….1878 London
3. Glover M. Allen The Mammals of China and Mongolia Part 1 p.

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