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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, June 29, 2013

ANDREW MAY: Return of the cryptoturd



Hi Jon,

The two-days-per-week job I'm doing at the moment means I can go for a lunchtime walk round the Winfrith nature reserve, where I saw the mysterious "cryptozoological turd" a few years ago (Animals & Men issue 47 page 72). I saw something similar yesterday, in almost the identical location (photo attached). It was similar in size and had the same regular striations, but this one appeared to be fresher (less dried out). I would say that it's fairly clearly a fox dropping, particularly with the distinctive pinched end. What do you think? The scat was surrounded by downy feathers (a few of which are visible in the photo), which again is suggestive of a fox. So if this one is a fox, then the previous one probably was too.

Another question -- is there a way of distinguishing at a glance between a newt and a baby lizard? Both species are supposed to be common in that area, but usually when you see them it's only for a fraction of a second as they scuttle under cover. Is there anything about time of year, location, colouring, way of moving etc that would allow you to tell from a momentary glimpse whether it's a newt or a small lizard?

Andrew

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