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...


Thursday, February 18, 2010


When Corinna first found this online and sent me the link I got very self-righteous. Richard, Max and I are very proud of doing our best with the CFZ aquaria to make them as natural as possible, and not to mix biotopes blah blah blah.

However, most of the pet fish in the world are purely pets and most of them are goldfish, which are an undeniably domesticated species. So the obvious ethical arguments against the following project fly out the window. The only question left is whether the fish benefit from it.

'You’ve probably never thought about teaching your fish new tricks! Well now you can with the new R2 Fish School Kit. It is a complete training system, that allows you to train your fish amazing tricks such as how to play football, basketball, swim through hoops / tunnels, the limbo, fetch, finger feeding and many more.. Your fish can really benefit from stimulus and research has shown that happy pets go on to lead healthier, longer lives. It takes on average 2 x 15 minute sessions to teach a trick and this is as engaging an activity for you as your fish. Fun for the whole family guaranteed! The kit includes an instructional DVD, a R2 Fish School Training Platform, Over 20 Compatible Training Accessories, An all new Feeding Wand, An Instruction Manual with 100+ photos and a Compact base for bowls/small tanks. For fish between 1”-6” in length. A great gift idea. W28xD17xH8cm (11x7x3")'

View Data Sheet

See the video


I have always been mildly impressed by man-made chimeras: artificial constructs purporting to be of an unknown creature. Like this one:

'A rare find indeed is the Ryma. A cross between a rat and a myna, this creature was thought to be long extinct. Scurrying through the undergrowth it feeds on insects and roots and is so seldom seen. Don't miss this opportunity to buy this amazing creature. Newly mounted on a piece of backbone and would be a great addition to collectors of fantasy or gothic artifacts.'


LINDSAY SELBY: Another look at the classic Florida monster attack

When I wrote the Florida River Monster blog I mentioned this attack and I thought it may be an urban myth.

Always ready to be proved wrong, I investigated further and in Tim Dinsdale's book The Leviathans" (1976 ed Futura London Paperback), I found the following, which I have scanned in (attached). You should be able to click on it and make it bigger to read comfortably.

It is a letter Tim Dinsdale received from the surviving diver, which tells the story of what happened. What they encountered could
have been a large seal of some kind; possibly a leopard seal.

Leopard seals are aggressive and one pulled a young researcher under the ice a few years ago and she perished. What it would have been doing in that area I have no idea. Some will say the survivor was hallucinating or traumatised because of the loss of his friends and so made the story up, not consciously but as an explanation to ease his pain. I don't know; all I can say is read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions. If it is true, it is a frightening episode.



I have never considered myself to be a 'twitcher', unless, of course, you take into account the physical repercussions to be incurred after a frenzied, no-holds-barred session on the Stella Artois.

But seriously, my late uncle Sid was a great bird-fancier (the feathered variety), and had a sideboard full of awards and trophies for his prize pigeons. I've also always been a fan of Bill Oddie; from happy childhood memories of watching The Goodies, to his later output as a champion of wildlife, and birds in particular. So I don't know; perhaps it's a combination of these two things that has inspired me to put food out for the local avian contingent.

I've been doing it for years, but what with the snow of recent months, I've been rather more consciencious about making sure that there is enough food--and the right sort--to sustain the population--or at least those that come into my garden. Anything with a high fat content seems to go down well, and has been met with an enthusiastic response from blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, and even pigeons.
But perhaps my favourite--and most appropriate for the winter season-- is a robin that has appeared regularly since December. I managed to take a picture, which considering that it is hand-held, and on telephoto setting, is the best that I could manage, also considering that I was trying to take the shot through my kitchen window without disturbing him/her.
I think robins are ground-feeders--am I right?--so I put down some fat-ball crumbs, which seemed to do the trick.
Incidentally, did you know how robins first came to be associated with Christmas? It was because postmen in the Victorian era wore red tunics, and got the nickname 'robin red breasts', and as robins were winter birds, they were one of the first images to be put on Christmas cards.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1859 the defence of ‘temporary insanity’ was first used in the trial of Daniel Sickles, a congressman in the United States of America, for the murder of his wife’s lover.
And now, the news:

Dolphins leaping out of love
Bitten by the art bug
This King-Size Frog Hopped With Dinosaurs
Baa,baa black belt

Watch out… he knows ‘baa’-rte