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, March 30, 2015


A few days ago I bought a fascinating book at an Oxfam shop in Manchester called : `Treasures of Oxfordshire` by Francesca Jones,Dr Lauren Gilmour and Dr Martin Henig (FAMOS,Friends Of Archives,Museums and Oxfordshire Studies, Oxford 2004 ISBN 0-906871-31-X) which contains illustrations and notes on numerous museum exhibits throughout Oxfordshire. This part of England is of significance to me as I was a student at Oxford Brookes University between 1996 and 1999.

So going through the whole book from front to back cover,in page order,these are the items of zoological significance which include photos:

Toy Snake .Made by stringing stamps,mainly penny reds,together. 19th Century,Museums Resource Centre, Standlake. (1)

Megalosaurus Bucklandi. First described by William Buckland. Photo of part of jaw bone. The first bone from which the term `dinosaur` arose. (2)

 Photo of Oxford Sandy and Black pig. “Typical of the rare breeds kept at Cogges Manor Farm Museum in Witney. Said to have been in existence for centuries, Oxford Sandy and Blacks are medium sized pigs  with sandy hair and black blotches.They are believed to have originated from Hook Norton in Oxfordshire. (3)

Kidlington lion`s head,Kidlington station,one of a number of cast iron heads used to decorate roof awnings in Great Western Railway stations in Cherwell Valley. The one in the photo dates from opening of the Oxford to Birmingham railway in 1852.(4)

Oxford Dodo`s Head Mummified head and foot are all that are left .”The `Oxford Dodo` was brought to London c. 1636 and was acquired by John Tradescant,gardener to Charles 1.Tradescant`s collection was willed to Elias Ashmole and so came to Oxford.”(5)

Back cover.This isn`t actualy the same photo as on the back cover of this book,but it`s the same skeleton at the same place, Oxford University Museum of Natural History though. There`s an interesting story behind it. I quote from the back cover text:

“ Tunny Fish.The tunny fish was collected by Dr Acland (Dr Lee`s Reader in Anatomy,Christ Church) in 1847 in Madeira through the offices of the consul. The fish had been packed in salt and placed in an 8ft long box for the voyage back. During this return voyage,the crew and passengers of the steam ship Tyne became convinced that the box contained the corpse of a patient. In their minds, this accounted for the violent storms encountered in the Bay of Biscay (shades of Jonah here-R) and after a mutiny the Captain gave notice that he intended to throw the ill omen overboard. Acland threatened legal proceedings and the tunny fish was kept on board after the box was opened and its contents displayed. When the steamer was wrecked in Cornwall, the crew worked double time to rescue the fish, doubtless feeling remorse for their unfounded suspicion.” (6)

The Jourdain Society `A` Egg Collection. Totals 5000 eggs from birds in the Palaeorctic region,stored in a place called Hills Units donated 2000-2001. Memorabilia and diaries also donated as well as information on breeding sites for birds of prey in Scandanavia and the colour intensity of blue tit eggs.()


  1. Treasures of Oxfordshire p.4
  2. Ibid p.6
  3. Ibid p. 19
  4. Ibid p. 63
  5. Ibid p. 68
  6. Ibid Back Cover.

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