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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Tuesday, May 07, 2013


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.

   In most modern fantasy scenarios, the word "dragon" often entails a creature of raw, awe-inspiring power. Some are noble, benevolent, even intelligent beings, unfairly demonized by foolish little man-things. Others are savage yet magnificent embodiments of nature's brutality, dazzling behemoths to whom humans are like so many nuggets of squealing meat. They're symbols of might, ridden through hurricanes by naked warrior princesses with flaming swords. 
They're complete and utter Mary Sues. 

Read on...


I found this story whilst at the Zoological Society of London about a month ago. Neotenous means “ the retention of juvenile features in adult animals” (1) (rather like me I suppose, with the head and hair of an 8 year old and the rest of the body of a 46 year old?!)

It was originally published in the British Herpetological Society Newsletter no 5  c. 1971 page 2:


In May 1971 , a large newt,still bearing functioning external gills, was collected from a clay-drier tank near Roche ( Grid.Ref. 20/05) by Jayne Morton, a pupil of the St. Austell Comprehensive School. As Triturus helveticus is the only newt to occur in this area of Cornwall, it can safely be assumed that it was a `neotenic` specimen of this species.The animal was 66mms. Long, with a broad head (8mms.wide) a poorly developed cloacal region indicating its juvenile state, weak legs,and a tail fin extending up the back of the body almost to the head, the three pairs of bright red external gills being situated just behind the widest part of the head. In contrast to most neotenic newts, however, the colour was greyish rather than cream or lemon yellow. The tank had vertical sides, with two feet of water at one end,though dry at the other. This appears to be a typical habitat for neotenous specimens. (Smith 1954).

It was maintained for several weeks, feeding on waterflies at first, but later accepting small chopped pieces of the common Brandling worm ( Eisenia foetida.) During this time the gills became darker and,after a `moult` visits were made to the surface of the water, presumably for the oral intake of air. Despite this latter observation, it would appear to have been an authentic specimen of a `neotenic` newt, as the external gills showed no sign of disappearing and the body shape did not alter during the eight weeks it was kept alive.

A photographic record has been made by Mr K.Larsen (2) and the information sent to the Biological Records Centre ,at Monks Wood, the latter confirming that it is the first record for a neotenous newt in Cornwall.

  1. Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2008) p. 959
  2. A Hong Kong colleague of J.D. Romer`s 


DALE DRINNON: Skunk ape, long necked monsters, Benny's Blog

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd:
New at Benny's Other Blog, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
(Reprinted in the Thelma Todd blog, and a linked article at Cedar and Willow has not been released yet)
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 took the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.


Today is quite a jolly one so far. I have a French film crew wandering about the house. They are here to film Richard (and a little bit of me) and they were kind enough to have presented us with a life-sized model of orang pendek courtesy of Richard's friend Adele Morse. Much to my great joy, mother is taking all of this madness in her stride and is toddling about the house doing her own thing, occasionally exchanging pleasantries with members of the Gallic av team. In the meantime, I am attempting to write deathless prose, and Pru is doing her best to be involved with everything that's happening (which usually means that she is getting in everyone's way and blundering into expensive items of equipment).
Our daily visit to the world of Thom the World Poet
Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman for the Summer's End festival
*  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:
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and a not very small orange kitten (who isn't) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cats?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today