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...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Friday, January 11, 2013

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: Another weird summer

Due to personal and family commitments, I have not been able to do much in the way of posting blogs. Things have however reached a point of unusualness that I felt compelled to write about the unusual happenings which are occurring once again this summer. Now in the summer heat, the southern hemisphere is sweltering under high temperatures, often a lot higher, then previously recorded. Many new records have been broken, for heat. And believe me, it is no fun being in 35°C weather, and like I was last week with a very irritating dose of the summer flu. Our sympathies also go out to those in Australia, our southern hemisphere counterparts who are suffering the worst conditions than we are. We have had a few scrub fires bursts out threatening a few houses, but nothing to compare that frightening scenarios currently running its course in Australia. I wept, for the amount of wildlife that perished in these fires. But here is where things start to get weird again...

Read on...

CFZ CANADA: Free willies

Killer whales are no strangers to Canadian waters. In fact, orcas are living in every ocean on earth.  The highest densities of killer whales are in the northeast Atlantic around the Norwegian coast, in the north Pacific along the Aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Alaska and in the Southern Ocean off much of the coast of Antarctica. They are also common in the eastern Pacific along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, in the North Atlantic Ocean around Iceland and the Faroe Islands.  It isn't unheard of to spot some in Baffin Bay.  At this time of year, however, it is unusual for them to be gathered near Inukjuak, Quebec in Hudson Bay.  They often visit arctic water in more temperate weather, but rarely come near an ice pack.  Recently a group of up to 18 of them were trapped under the ice in this location.  Their presence in this spot is what is cryptic.

CRYPTOLINK: The Legend Of The Loch Ness Monster Of Zimbabwe

A word about cryptolinks: We are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.  

loch ness monsterAfrica is a continent away from Scotland, but no one told that to the mythological Loch Ness monster look-alike said to live in Zimbabwe in the depths of Lake Kariba. It’s more than odd that both creatures are described as serpent-like and live in lakes. The Tonga tribe of Zambezi Valley believes their creature is actually a river god called Nyaminyami that turns the water red whenever it emerges from the depths. The god is described by those who have seen it as being enormous with the body of a serpent and a fish-like head. The nearly 10-foot wide creature has an undetermined length, but any creature that large is capable of striking fear in the hearts of those who claim to have seen it. One such eyewitness, the tribe’s Chief Sampakaruma, testifies that he has seen the god serpent on two separate occasions. But, that was years ago and before white men came to the valley to build a hydroelectric dam. That’s when the god of the underworld went into hiding, but not before he wreaked havoc. Read more…

Salamanders of Pennsylvania

Salamanders of Pennsylvania
By Walter E. Meshaka, Jr., Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
With photographs by Suzanne L. Collins

Salamanders of Pennsylvania makes accessible a wealth of information about the 23 kinds of native salamanders found in Pennsylvania. Color photographs are paired with detailed species accounts, which provide information about body size, appearance, and other identifying characteristics of adults and young; taxonomy and nomenclature; habits; distribution and habitat.

State maps show the counties in which each species occurs in Pennsylvania. Salamanders of Pennsylvania is an authoritative reference for amateur naturalists, students, and those interested in this group of animals.

Sponsored by The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Wild Resource Conservation Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Dickinson College Biology Department, Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary, Friends of Wildwood Lake Nature Center, Inc., Liberty Environmental, Inc., Powdermill Nature Reserve, Shippensburg University, and The Center for North American Herpetology.

About the authors:
Walter E. Meshaka, Jr. is the senior curator of zoology and biology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. His research interest in herpetology and extensive fieldwork in Pennsylvania provided the idea and information for this booklet to encourage interest in salamanders.
The late Joseph T. Collins (1939-2012) was a dedicated herpetologist who helped write and edit this booklet before his death in January of 2012. During his lifetime he published extensively about amphibians, reptiles, and turtles. He was the director and founder of The Center for North American Herpetology. His colleagues sadly miss him.
Suzanne L. Collins is a noted wildlife photographer who with Dr. Meshaka completed the text and photos for this booklet.

Copies are available by contacting the sponsoring agencies (see above).

Publisher: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date of Publication: December 2012
51 pages, 53 color images, softbound

Information supplied by Center for North American Herpetology (CNAH)


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.


The weather is finally scheduled to get cold this weekend for the first time, and so, this afternoon I am going on a frogspawn collecting mission to try and see if we can avert the massacre of R.temporaria that took place last year. It is strictly illegal, but I am quite prepared to defend my actions in court should anyone be nasty enough to dob me in to the authorities. Shosh and Gavin go home today, so the Festive Season is finally over for another year. They are also taking the orange cat with them - he needs to have a dental operation next week, so fingers crossed.
Dan Wooding's new book, on classic British rocker Terry Dene is now available. It's a goodun
More information (courtesy of Bart) about the Asia split. They have a new guitarist and a new album in the works
Like I said yesterday "it's Bowie innit?" The advent of his new album is a masterpiece of cool.
Courtesy of those jolly nice fellows at Google News Alerts I found this nice, rambing Robert Wyatt article
I also found this article about Greg Lake's early days in King Crimson, and even managed to justify reposting it.
Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from the extraordinary Ant-Bee
*  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: http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

*  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?


The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. In September 2012 Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 2008 the mountaineer, explorer and first man to summit Everest and live to tell the tale, Edmund Hilary died.
And now the news:
  • Genetic Matchmaking Saves Endangered Frogs
  • Scientists Use Marine Robots to Detect Endangered ...
  • Baby Wasps Disinfect Cockroaches Before Eating The...
  • South Georgia prepares to cull its invasive reinde...
  • Killer whales trapped in Canada's frozen Hudson Ba...
  • Three white rhinos poached on the Kruger National ...
  • Shark embryos 'freeze' to evade predator

  • Move any mountain: