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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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Saturday, May 04, 2013

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY CHINESE MOON RAY ABSORBING,EGG EATING BLACK DOG FISH!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls I have another weird and wonderful story from China that I found in the North China Herald and South-East and Central China Gazette of Jan 9th 1891. Please can someone identify this animal?


A returned traveller from Kuangsi (Guangzi-Zhuang) Province tells of a strange fish found in the Kweiling [ i.e. Gweilin – R] river of that province. The fish is black in colour, has four feet and walks like a quadruped. The natives call it dog fish from its similarity to that animal. When quiet reigns late at night the fish crawls out of water and climbs to the top of trees in search of birds and eggs which seem to be its favourite food. It is said that the fish also inhales the rays of the moon and regulates and trains its breathing powers so that its agility and cunning excel anything in the air,on earth or in water. To capture it, it is necessary to keep very quiet, spread a net under the tree up which the fish has climbed and when it descends fold over the net; otherwise no bullet or arrow or line or hook will take it. As the natives believe it an infallible cure in consumption or other diseases of general debility , it is much sought for. A certain Canton merchant bought a few to present to his friends; while the servant was carrying them he accidentally fell and had his finger badly bitten. A short time afterwards the servant stole from his master and ran away. Then the natives claim the fish possessed a prophetic knowledge of coming events and gave the master warning by biting the servant! (1)


So what have we here? Some kind of seal or otter?


1. The North China Herald and S.E. & C.China Gazette   9/1/1891    

2 comments:

Richard Freeman said...

Sounds like an otter.

Richard Muirhead said...

After a chat with Richard Freeman I believe these were probably otters with some strange folklore beliefs added (i.e the moon ray aspect)