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, December 07, 2012

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:

SEPARATED AT BIRTH (according to Glen Vaudrey)

Raoul Silva bond villain from skyfall all he needs is a Devo hat

CARL MARSHALL: Actias selene catterpilars

 The Indian moon moth Actias selene is one of the most Popular silk-moths to rear in captivity. Its popularity is a result of the relative ease of the larval stage, coupled with the stunning sight of the newly emerged moth which being a silk-moth does not feed. The adults are also very easy to pair, so multiple generations can be achieved.

Its one of the most beautiful of all the silk-moths, with a large wingspan and subtle pale green and pink colouration.
The larval stage is also very rewarding for the rearer, as the larvae are truly spectacular and change colour throughout their development; newly emerged larvae are black and red, quickly changing red in their second instar, and then finally turning green in the final instar. The larvae grow to a very impressive size (as can be seen in the illustrations), easily reaching 12cm or more.

When fully grown, they pupate within a silken cocoon* spun up against foliage - see illustration.

They accept a wide variety of deciduous trees and shrubs in summer, and can continue to be reared throughout winter when rhododendron acts as an evergreen solution.   

*Contrary to popular belief butterflies do-not emerge from cocoons. During a butterflies pupal stage (Holometabolous) they are not encased in silk so should be referred to as a chrysalis or simply a pupa.   

A. selene moths coming soon!


In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that - whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot, or lake monsters - it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean Zoologist to be interested in. So, after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo, Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

THIS CHRISTMAS FROM CFZ PUBLISHING GROUP: Those Amazing Newfoundland Dogs by Jan Bondeson

The Newfoundland dog is one of the most majestic and impressive breeds of dogs. Originally bred as water dogs and draught dogs, Newfoundland dogs have been known in Britain at least since the 1730s. Considered a very superior breed of dogs, they soon became expensive and sought after: many noblemen and magnates wanted a specimen. Newfoundland dogs were also highly regarded for their ability to save human lives during shipwrecks or bathing accidents. Heroic Newfoundland dogs were depicted in schoolbooks, on popular engravings, and in books on natural history. These dogs were considered not just brave and altruistic, but also extremely intelligent; a large proportion of the anecdotes of dogs told by the Victorian dog-fanciers were related to the extraordinary sagacity of the Newfoundland. This book will resurrect the forgotten history of the Newfoundland dog, using original sources and illustrations to shed new light on this magnificent breed.


They say that deaths come in threes. Today is a very sad day - Dave Brubeck, Huw Lloyd Langton, and Ed Cassidy have all three died, and the vast majority of today's Gonzo blog has been set aside for us to remember them. May they rest in peace, and cherish the music that they gave us. In other news, all the books which needed to be uploaded have been uploaded. Sales of CFZ books are very slow at the moment, especially in America. Perhaps everyone is waiting to see whether the world actually will end on the 21st as some scholars of the Mayan calendar have intimated. Others have said that it will be a day of a great change in the consciousness of the human race. Me? I reckon that it will just be another friday, but we only have two more weeks until we find out for sure.
We start off today with a special visit to Thom the World Poet, who remembers Dave Brubeck and Ed Cassidy
We remember Dave Brubeck, with a personal anecdote of Jon's
The above four postings were done last night as the news broke. However, this morning there was an e-mail from Max Blake telling me that Huw had died as well
To lift the mood slightly, here is a new song from the lovely Mimi Page

*   The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

*   The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginitavely - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link:

*   Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat - puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

RICHARD FREEMAN SENT THIS: Vintage Australian Cryptozoology film with Rex Gilroy