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, August 13, 2013


A much later start to the day today. It was, after all, a Sunday. After breakfast and the animal rounds were completed, Richard and I set about the day’s main task. The conservatory was in quite a state and needed order to be restored post haste. It only took a few hours to remove the rubbish, organise and house what was to remain, and mop the floor.

Some way towards the end of this activity we took a lunch break (at about five in the afternoon). I managed to talk my way into getting a couple of packets of biscuits and a malt loaf :P After a sandwich and half of the biscuits, Frunobulax knocked half my tea on the stairs. We then finished off the conservatory. Afterwards it looked so much infinitely better for it. I enjoy seeing previously unkempt areas after a sort out.

After tea we talked long into the evening. The first topic was British cryptids, about which I know fairly little. Conversation moved on into other areas, both deeper, more philosophical areas as well as some which were rather shallow. The clock ticked on and eyes became heavier so we each decided to call it a night. 


Karl Shuker resurrects Brevet's seemingly-vanished all-black Malayan tapir.

Read on..

Amphibia-Reptilia 34(2)


b2ap3_thumbnail_A-R34-2.jpgAkani, Godfrey C., Fabio Petrozzi, Lorenzo Rugiero, Gabriel H. Segniagbeto and Luca Luiselli. 2013. Effects of rainfall and geography on the comparative diets of eight rainbow lizard populations across Togo, Benin and Nigeria (West Africa). Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 185-192. [ fapetrozzi@gmail.com]

Arredondo, Juan C. 2013. A new species of gymnophthalmid lizard of the genus Anadia (Gymnophthalmidae: Cercosaurinae) from Northern Andes of Colombia. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 173-184. Anadia antioquensis sp. nov. [ jcas36@gmail.com]

Gabor, Caitlin R., Jaime Bosch, Joe N. Fries and Drew R. Davis. 2013. A non-invasive water-borne hormone assay for amphibians. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 151-162. [ gabor@txstate.edu]

Geiger, Corina C., Benedikt R. Schmidt and Francesco C. Origgi. 2013. Accumulation of pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidisi on the regressing tail of Midwife Toads Alytes obstetricans undergoing metamorphosis. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 255-258. [ benedikt.schmidt@ieu.uzh.ch]

Iosif, Ruben, Laurentiu Rozylowicz and Viorel Dan Popescu. 2013. Modeling road mortality hotspots of Eastern Hermann's Tortoise in Romania. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 163-172.
[ ios_ruben@yahoo.com]

Lillo, Francesco, Francesco Paolo Faraone and Mario Lo Valvo. 2013. Is the Painted Frog Discoglossus pictus a declining species in Italy? On the reliability of a distributional atlas approach. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 248-254. [ mario.lovalvo@unipa.it]

Lopez, Pilar, Jose Martin and Alfredo Salvador. 2013. Flexibility in feeding behaviour may compensate for morphological constraints of fossoriality in the amphisbaenian Blanus cinereus. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 241-247. [ pilar.lopez.@mncn.csic.es]

Neckel-Oliveira, Selvino, Ulisses Galatti, Sarita B. Faveri, Luiz P. Albareli and Henrique E. M. Nascimento. 2013. Ecological correlates in Brazilian Amazonian anurans: implications for conservation. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 217-232. [ neckel@ccb.ufsc.br]

Pitt, Amber L. and Max A. Nickerson. 2013. Potential recovery of a declined turtle population diminished by a community shift towards more generalist species. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 193-200. [ apitt@clemson.edu]

Santana, Diego Jose, Suelique de Souza Queiroz, Patricia Souza Wanderley, Vinicius de Avelar São-Pedro, Felipe Sa Fortes Leite and Adrian Antonio Garda. 2013. Calls of tadpoles of the species of Lysapus (Anura, Hylidae, Pseudidae). Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 201-215. [ pseudis@gmail.com]

Spitzen-Van der Sluijs, Annemarieke M., Frank Spikmans, Wilbert Bosman, Marnix de Zeeuw, Tom van der Meij, Edo Goverse, Marja Kik, Frank Pasmans and An Martel. 2013. Rapid enigmatic decline drives the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) to the edge of extinction in the Netherlands. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 233-239. [ a.spitzen@ravon.nl]

Vacher, Jean-Pierre. 2013. Book review: Herpetofauna of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 269-270. [ jpvacher@gmail.com]

Verissimo, Joana, Paulo Pereira, Susana Lopes, Jose Teixteira, Uwe Fritz and Guillermo Velo-Antón. 2013. Cross-amplification of microsatellite loci for the Mediterranean Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa). Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 259-262. [ guillermo.velo@cibio.up.pt]

Zagar, Anamarija, Ivan Kos and Al Vrezec. 2013. Habitat segregation patterns of reptiles in Northern Dinaric Mountains (Slovenia). Amphibia-Reptilia. 34 (2): 263-268. [ anamarija.zagar@gmail.com]


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: Utah lake monster, bigfoot, Benny's blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


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 are 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.

NEWSLINKS: 6th big cat dies at North Texas animal 


Graham is just about to finish phase one of the repair work on the CFZ conservatory. It has taken several months longer than we had hoped, but now, for the first time in years, it is structurally sound, and ready to face the oncoming winter. It seems strange to be writing about the winter already, but the CFZ year is based around the Weird Weekend in mid-August, and everything throughout the first eight months of the year builds up to it. I still have no idea whether this event will be the last, but I would like to thank the many people (I was going to write 'legions of wellwishers', but although the number of letters and phone calls I have received numbers well into double figures, it is not quite 'legions', and I do my best not to indulge in hyperbole) who have written offering support, and expressing the hope that the Weird Weekend will continue. There are arguments on both sides, and this is going to be a very hard decision to make.
Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
Sticking with the Steve Howe motif, here is something about his new album of demos

*  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

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1913 German Acrobat Otto Witte claimed to have been crowned king of Albania after entering the newly formed country posing as the peoples preferred candidate for monach. He claimed to have enjoyed the services of a Hareem and to have escaped the country with half of the crown jewels as well, it is a crying shame that like most of Witte's escapades and achievements it was likely completely made up... See more about the man here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Witte
And now the news:

  • Kennet and Avon grass snakes take to the canal to ...
  • Eels to be helped back into Lake Windermere
  • Fresh Analysis of Dinosaur Skulls Shows Three 'Spe...
  • Georgia Aquarium denied permission to import 18 be...
  • Nottingham Wildlife Trust appeals for funds to exp...
  • Alaskan Bear Jumps on Jet Ski
  • Rangers destroy 40 active tiger snares in Sumatra'...
  • UK zoo creates a skink to save rare lizards
  • Tiny Chinese Island Sets Example for Sustainable F...
  • The Temperature Tastes Just Right: Scientists Disc...
  • Tiger moths – Have you seen any near you?
  • Study: Dolphins can problem solve like humans
  • America's Fleeting Chance to Correct Chimps' Endan...
  • Happy as a pig in ... farmer builds mudslide for h...
  • Is this starved polar bear which died as ‘skin and...
  • Dolphins, Sharks, and Mermaids, Oh, My! Interview ...

  • Al Stewart based a song on this incident (Rain Barrel on the Beach Full of Shells album, check it out on spotify or something, good song) but unfortunately Youtube and just about every other video site has failed me so instead here's another good Al Stewart song: