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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Monday, April 28, 2014


In all the years I have lived in North Devon I have only come across one species of newt – the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus).  However, according to the species distribution maps, Woolsery should be within the range for the smooth newt (L.vulgaris).  A couple of years ago, however, Jess the elder found a small, and very dead newt in the road outside our house.  It appeared to be a smooth newt.

This weekend, the ever resourceful Charlotte, whilst moving stones around our waterfall, found this newt.  I can’t tell whether it is a female helveticus or a vulgaris of indeterminate gender (probably female).  Is there anyone out there who can help me? (I’m thinking Lars, or possible Darren)

And while you’re at it, the lovely Andrea has just come up with a very good question: What does palmate mean?


New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
http://frontiersofzoology.blogspot.com/2014/04/champ-update-from-scott-mardis.html http://frontiersofzoology.blogspot.com/2014/04/champ-update-from-scott-mardis.html New at the Frontiers of Anthropology: http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/2014/04/bigfoot-portraits.html http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/2014/04/eastern-bigfoot-neanderthal-skull.html http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/2014/04/map-reveals-all-asteroid-impacts-from.html

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...



What has Corinna's column of fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

Well, everything actually!

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. 


Blinking Bigfoot | Squatchdetective's Blog
“The Standing Blinking Bigfoot Capture” (Source Todd Standing. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the 

BIGFOOT: The Beast of Kentucky: 04/27/14
Today I met with friend and the lead researcher for the Northern Kentucky Bigfoot Research group Thomas Shay. We had planned to work on the

Incredible encounter with a trespassing Bigfoot captured on video .

Possible Bigfoot On Film In Canada Slowdown | Bigfoot Research News - Blogger
In this video Parabreakdown slows down the recent Squamish Sasquatch/Bigfoot Youtube video. Due to the distance they were from the subject it's 

Possible Sasquatch On Film In Canada | Bigfoot Research News - Blogger
Related Post: Possible Bigfoot On Film In Canada Breakdown. Posted by Johnny Bigfoot at 7:09 PM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to

CRYPTOLINK: Mysterious mermaid stripped naked

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 (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

Horniman merman
The Horniman merman. Photograph: Heini Scheebeli

Name: The Horniman merman
Species: Pseudosiren paradoxoides
Dates: mid- to late-19th century
Claim to fame: Iconic specimen
Where now: Horniman Museum & Gardens

I am fascinated by mermaids. But my fascination, I should add, is purely professional. It all began when, in my capacity as a curator of natural history at the Horniman Museum & Gardens, I was asked to help identify the composition of a mermaid in the collection. 

Horniman merman
What is it made of? The mysterious merman at the Horniman Museum & Gardens. Photograph: Heini Scheebeli

At that point, I was familiar with the idea that tales of mermaids most likely arose from the misidentification of real-world animals like the Sirenidae (a family of American aquatic salamanders that lack hind limbs) or Sirenia(the dugongs, manatees and now extinct Steller’s sea-cow). I was less familiar with fake mermaids, taxidermy chimera supposedly made by attaching a monkey to a fish.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I peered into the case where the mermaid lurks in the Horniman’s Centenary Gallery, a space that struggles to strike a balance between the low light levels needed to preserve museum objects and the need for visitors to actually see the exhibits. With a torch, however, I was able to pierce the stygian gloom to reveal the suitably nightmarish visage of the “Japanese Monkey-fish” (as the museum’s register describes it). 


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. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 

  • FEATURELINK: Paleontologists have found fossilized...

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    The Gonzo Daily - Monday
    I did very little over the weekend except for interviewing David Jackson (ex-VDGG) and René van Commenée (aka Mr Averell) yesterday lunchtime. The rest of the weekend was spent in recreational pursuits such as sleeping, watching TV with Mother, sleeping, drinking vodka and sleeping. It is a glorious day today (if a little chilly) and I am awaiting Andrea and Mark Raines. The former to do officey stuff, the latter to mow the lawn. The only other news is that Helen has acquired a pet hedgehog with only one eye. All together now aaaaaaaaaaaaw
    A Young Frank Zappa Turns the Bicycle into a Musical instrument

    And just in case you missed it yesterday, the latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (which can be read at www.gonzoweekly.com), It features - amongst other things - Hawkwind's Hawkeaster weekend in exclusive words and pictures, interviews with Corky Laing of Mountain, and Gary Green of Gentle Giant, Steve Ignorant, the Dalai Lama, and more news, reviews, views, interviews and giant otter shrews (OK, no Central African insectivores which feed largely on freshwater crabs, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
    The full list of artists covered this time is: Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Libertines, Damon Albarn, Morrisey, Paul McCartney, Auburn, Liz Lenten, Barbara Dickson, Circulus, Iona, Merrell Fankhauser, Karnataka, Genre Peak, Steve Hackett, Steve Ignorant, Asia, Mick Abrahams, Clearlight, John Greaves, Hugh Hopper, Alain Blesing, Galahad, Rick Wakeman, Andy Colquhoun, The Prog Collective, Clepsydra, The Deviants, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Captain Beefheart, Pink Fairies, Corky Laing, Three Friends, Gentle Giant, Justin Beiber, One Direction, The Beatles, Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Abba, Elegant Simplicity, Epica, The Fierce and the Dead, Generation Kill, Moonsorrow
    These issues (and the current one) can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
    To make sure that you don't miss your copy of future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe

    *  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: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html
    * 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 54 who - together with an orange kitten named after a song by Frank Zappa 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 kitten?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1948 Sir Terry Pratchett was born. Pratchett is best known for writing the Discworld novels and for his work campaigning to raise funds for research into treatments and cures for early onset Alzheimer's disease, which he suffers from, and for orang-utan conservation.

    And now the news:

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  • US Navy to deploy combat dolphins for Black Sea mi...
  • Japan kicks off first whale hunt since UN court ru...
  • Genetic Mix Of Bacterial Diversity Found In One Mi...
  • Eating Less Red Meat, Reducing Food Waste Would Re...
  • Peoria Ag Lab works to control world's deadliest a...
  • Honeybees battered by brutal winter
  • Dead cats found hanging in NYC suburb were beaten
  • This Swimmer Noticed A Shark Was Following Him; Th...

  • Corals use multiple tricks to adapt to hotter seas...
  • Sir Terry Pratchett's 'last' TV interview (one would hope for more but that would depend on his illness and perhaps whether he feels he has anything to say) :