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...

Monday, June 17, 2013

CARL MARSHALL: Armoured cave crickets at Stratford

These just in!

The Armoured ground cricket Acantholpus discoidalis is considered a crop pest in the southern African countries of Botswana, Namibia and south Africa. When fully grown an adult of this flightless species may be three inches long and encased with thick armour plates and sharp barbs. They are defensive and have a rather painful bite.

There are many other names attributed to this species including Armoured bush cricket, Corn cricketGobabis prawn, Endindi and Koringkriek

Armoured ground crickets have the bizarre ability to spray haemolymph (their blood) from their abdomens and this deters at least three species of lizard. When deprived of protein and salt A. discoidalis can become cannibalistic. The ability to autohaemorrhage also has a downside as this can encourage other individuals to attack and cannibalise them, this happens in captivity when kept in large groups!

A. discoidalis is a wonderful, albeit strange addition to the order Orthoptera and we at the Butterfly Farm are very pleased with our new colony.   


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.

DALE DRINNON: Sea serpent reconstructions, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd:
And new at Benny's Other Blog, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
Tomorrow we go on to bigger and better things. At least I hope so.
Best Wishes, Dale D.

LARS THOMAS: It has already scared Richard Freeman, so there must be others out there who would like to be scared as well.

a little monster for the blog


Dear Jon,

The Sun was shinning and after hours of weeding, my garden was looking lovely. Rosie, Joanne and myself thought it would be a nice idea to get the garden furniture out of the shed and sit back, relax and enjoy a lovely afternoon. So out came the cobweb covered table and chairs followed by the parasol. With much puffing and panting I finally got the bugger up, only to discover some Field mouse had munched bloody great holes in it! Arrrgg! (Cue Tom and Jerry maid voice) “Samson, you no good cat!” “If you don't catch that darn mouse you'll be ouT, oUT, OUT of this house!”

So I have equipped Samson with the latest Mega Blaster Super Soaker 3000. Guaranteed to wash them mouses out of your houses!




Another week dawns, and it is damp and grey. We have quite a full day ahead of us because we are getting together all the equipment that Richard needs to take to Sumatra. Yes, he is off to Sumatra for the fifth time on the 25th June. We are filming a little piece later today during which he discusses his objectives for the trip. Weird Weekend tickets are selling consistently, but we can always sell a few more. This may end up being the last ever one, so buy your tickets early. I am starting work on next weekend's Gonzo magazine, and it is shaping up to be a real corker...
Good old Google News Alerts. I was looking for material on Alan Davey, the ex-Hawkwind bassist, and got this fascinating BBC story about Alan Davey from the Arts Council. I agree with much that he has to say

*  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 two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) 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 cat?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today