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, January 05, 2016

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Some hairless horses you may never have met

I recently came across a mystery animal that has bolted from the stable of cryptozoological familiarity only to roam in the waste-lands of cryptozoological obscurity. Namely the hairless horse. Here I present three old newspaper stories about this mystery beast, dating from 1838,1880 and 1892 respectively.

The Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) February 1st 1838.

A Hairless Horse – There is a horse exhibiting at Tattersalls, New York , that has not a particle of hair on any part of his body,and whose skin resembles that of an elephant. It is said his dam was frightened at an elephant, and his owner was so much frightened at his appearance that he gave him away to a neighbour,who, after he was three years old, sold him for $2,300.

The Osage City Free Press (Osage City, Kansas) May 6th 1880

GEN. KAUPMANN has just presented to the Zoological Garden at Moscow a hairless horse from Central Asia. The animal belongs to a hybrid species ,and is considered a great rarity; it is well formed, but its skin is red and without the slightest trace of hair, and in cold Moscow it has to be kept covered with blankets.

Tombstone Weekly Epitaph   (Tombstone, Arizona) March 13th, 1892.

THE HAIRLESS HORSE. An otherwise perfect animal absolutely destitute of hair.

Some weeks ago we gave a description and illustration of a horse with phenomenal growth of the hair of the mane and tail, the rest of his coat being quite normal. In the present issue we reproduce from the Scientific American an example of the opposite extreme ,from a life study of the curious animal portrayed. This is a horse absolutely destitute of hair. Neither neck nor tail nor any part of the body shows the least hirsute growth. The texture of the skin is silky and smooth; the color is almost a full black. The animal is of rather heavy type, and with his delicate surface does not produce any unpleasant impression. There are said to be two such horses known to exist in this country. One of them was foaled in the west; the one we illustrate is credited to Australia.

The skin in one  of thee animals is affected curiously, the perspiratory function seeming to be absent. The horse does not sweat when exercised, and the mouth or nose seems to provide the escape for what would otherwise be true skin perspiration. 

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