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, January 03, 2013


This next story was once again sent in by Richard Freeman. Where does he find this stuff? No, on reflection, I think that I would rather not know the answer to that one.

Officer Valle.jpeg

A New York City police officer plotted to kidnap, cook and eat women, using a crime victim database and possibly an online dating forum to choose potential victims and discussing his twisted scheme in grisly detail online, local and federal law enforcement authorities said.

Read on...

CARL MARSHALL: The Unicorn Gecko

In the October of last year, we were donated an unusual little gecko that not only had cryptozoological cogitations because it was non-native and found in Warwickshire, but when closely examined it actually appeared to have a single horn almost central on top of its head (it was actually offset slightly to the right - see images). Of course this wasn't a legitimate horn as there was no bony core present, rather it was simply the location of a previous injury that had already healed, producing a horn-like protrusion or "pseudo-horn" from the damaged head scales, re-forming a flap of fairly solid tissue. However at a quick glance, at least at certain angles, an observer could easily yet erroneously think they had briefly witnessed a single horned (Unicorn) gecko. It does initially look quite convincing and to add to the would-be confusion, arboreal gecko's are lightening fast when making a fleeting getaway. Maybe certain other mystery reptiles such as crested snakes and cryptid horned snakes have their origins in this type of injury, especially if they were cryptic species of Boids and Pythons as they have similar granular-like scales on top of their heads that can readily re-form in this fashion. However I personally consider retained shed on the head and nape, building up over successive moults in unhealthy individuals, as a possible identification for many of the worlds crested snake reports.      
Although its exact provenance is unknown to us, I think this is probably Hemidactylus sp. (formerly Cosymbotus), a house gecko from Asia that is most commonly referred to as the flat tailed house gecko. What was once an entirely Asian species has now however colonised some of north America since being unwittingly introduced into Florida and finding the sun shine state to their liking. So this individual may have been imported accidentally here from the United States rather than directly from Asia.

Like most true arboreal gecko's Hemidacylus sp. are superb wall-crawlers. These lizards can easily scuttle up sheer surfaces and cling to ceilings effortlessly, thanks to the evolution of toes that are covered with microscopic hairs. Each of these hairs, known as setae, finishes in literally hundreds of even finer spatula-shaped split ends known as spatulae. These ends make intimate contact with the latent bumps and troughs on a given surface, and stick using the same forces that bind individual molecules together. These forces singularly are weak, but summed up over millions of hairs they're enough to stick a gecko to a surface.         

No phylogenetic study's have been made to ascertain whether this widespread species represent unique lineages in the Philippines. 

This charming little gecko appears to be in good health, displaying good body weight with no film on its eyes and they're not hollow or sunken back into the skull either. There are also no other signs of Respiratory infection (RI) and so far its "horn" is still firmly attached.

We have not definitively identified this gecko as Hemidacylus sp. so if any blog readers have any other ideas as to the identity of this little reptile please post a comment.  

LINK: Can you spot the 'invisible animal'? Incredible images show nature's disappearing act when predators are near

Graham Inglis sent me this a few days ago...

Whether they are hunters or the hunted, these cunning animals are all masters of disguise who can fool even the most beady-eyed passer by into believing they are not there. Some hide under lily pads, some dissolve into the bark of a tree while others slip seamlessly into the snow, either to hide from a hungry predator or silently stalk an unwitting prey.
But the one thing from which they cannot hide is the all-seeing camera lens of photographer Art Wolfe. He has spent over 35 years roaming the deserts of Africa, the rainforests of South America, the mountains of the United States and snow plains of Canada to capture wildlife at its most invisible.

It's white in front of you! A willow ptarmigan in winter plumage, hidden on a brushy slope near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The animals are trying their utmost to fool predators but that's not enough to deceive international photographer Art Wolfe

Read on... 

DALE DRINNON: Giant bears, Steller's Sea Cow, Benny's Blogs

New at Frontiers of Zoology:

New at Benny's blog for Thelma Todd:
New at Benny's blog, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
I have put out two new Cedar and Willow blogs in the past two days and had to take them both down. A blogger error is not displayng the photos I have added properly. Another notice will be sent out when the problem gets fixed.
Best Wishes, Dale D.


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.

PETA offers reward for info on mass bird killing


It is always surprising to me how the season of tinsel and paper hats melts away as if it had never been, and within days one finds oneself back in the normal routine. However, very little about our lives can be described as normal really. Last night I was up late chatting to the Gonzo grande fromage Rob Ayling about the forthcoming Michael Des Barres releases, and I also finished reading Philip Norman's wonderfully waspish biography of Mick Jagger. It is only the 3rd of January and I have already read three of my four Christmas books. Richard Muirhead and I are also trying to find out whether it is true that the Hong Kong Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have now added the Indopacific crocodile to the official species list for the former British Colony. Life goes on...
Todays Gonzo Track of the Day is from Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
Jon Anderson gives another interview about the forthcoming sequel to his first solo album 'Olias of Sunhillow'
Dave Curtis went to see The Damned and The Dickies and had a remarkable time
*  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 - imaginatively - 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 which he shares with various fish and batrachians. 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?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1496 Leonardo da Vinci tested out his flying machine... it didn't work.
And now the news:

  • What Does It Take to Fool a Snake? Send in the Rob...
  • Elephants play football in Nepal
  • Biologist makes leap with three-fingered frog disc...
  • 2012 weather was great for slugs, bad for mammals ...
  • Barbaric ‘fox penning’ still legal in North Caroli...
  • 41 new species of moths discovered on Congo
  • Environmental Almanac: Patient photographer catche...
  • Colo the western lowland gorilla celebrates her 56...

  • One of Al Stewart's best songs: