Friday, June 24, 2011
Cats of the Past
Monsters of Wisconsin
From CFZ Australia:
Koala, platypus and thylacine star in exhibition
Meet the Cryptozoologist: Malcolm Smith
High praise for the crypto crowd
Rare and curious thylacine rock art
Holy Honeyeater! Dear Old Boy breaks a record
Blobmonster washes up on Chinese beach
From CFZ Canada:
Finding Bigfoot… Isn’t
On this day in 2008 Lyall Watson died. Watson wrote about many subjects, from biology to sumo wrestling, but it is his paranormal or Fortean books that he is most well known for, including 'Supernature' which is one of the best-selling Fortean books ever published. It is a fantastic read and if you have never read it before I suggest you do. Due to its popularity it is quite easy to get hold of at a reasonable price so you have no excuse. Supernature also inspired the title of Dr Karl Shuker's blog 'Shukernature' after I suggested the play on words as a title for a future project for Karl.
And now the news:
Snake Genome Suggests Treatments for Human Heart D...
Illegal Wildlife Traders Target Endemic Geckos (Vi...
Chinese village bites into snake business (Via He...
Bill Haast, a Man Charmed by Snakes, Dies at 100 (...
Hundreds of Tortoises Smuggled in Suitcases at Ban...
'Dog killed by Yowie'
Argentina: Residents Terrified by "Striking Imp"
Lost Scottish folk tales published online
Giant Gator Killed In Trinity River
Trinity/Trilogy... Close enough for me to post an Elvis song, but I prefer this one to American trilogy:
Once I had the best band in southwest England; now I have a small boy, a bulldog and some glove puppets. Hey Ho!
For more details on the orang pendek expedition this autumn check out www.cfz.org.uk
Discussing the "Many-Finned" Sea-serpent
On the supposedly oldest and only artistic depiction of a proboscidian in the New world> that is, once you have thrown away all of the other, older candidates.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Can anyone please tell me what this large moth is? It was resting or sunning itself on the doorstep in the middle of the day.
LAST December an 8-second amateur video went viral. Shot in remote northern Tasmania, the blurry footage featured a long-tailed mammal trotting across a meadow with an oddly stilted gait. According to the film-maker, Murray McAllister, the animal was a Tasmanian tiger.
The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is a wolf-sized marsupial predator that has been presumed extinct since the last known specimen died in Hobart zoo in 1936. Yet despite its apparent demise, reports of Tassie tigers refuse to die. Hundreds of sightings, many from seemingly credible observers, have been recorded, both in Tasmania and on the mainland.
On this day in 1947 Kenneth Arnold saw an unidentified flying object. Based on his description the term 'Flying Saucer' was coined.
And now the news:
Breakdancing gorilla becomes sensation
Early human fossils unearthed in Ukraine
Coyote runs into home
Help wanted for Bigfoot DNA
Yeti skin auction
Loch Ness monster sighting
China sea monster
Oliver returns later today....
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Lifeline for countryside wildlife under threat!
The RSPB has learned that funding for wildlife-friendly farming could be scrapped as part of the upcoming European Budget. If this happens many of the UK’s most threatened farmland birds will face an even more uncertain future, possibly even extinction.
The funding under threat rewards farmers for working in ways that benefit wildlife and the environment – including encouraging birds to live and breed on their land. Scrapping it will remove the lifeline on which many of our most-loved species depend and will risk decades of effort, which has already helped save many species from the brink.
Our countryside has faced many threats, but this would be really savage: we’re staggered. Rewarding farmers for protecting threatened wildlife has provided a lifeline to many sensitive species, which would otherwise have ebbed away. If the EU continues with this plan, there is no doubt that wildlife will suffer, with the possible ultimate UK extinction of some threatened species, including the turtle dove and cirl bunting.
This proposal is being considered by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. We are all European taxpayers and right now we have an opportunity to tell him that we want our money spent in ways that help create a countryside rich in wildlife.
Please step up and call on President Barroso to save this vital lifeline for wildlife!
Take part in our quick and easy online action to send President Barroso an e-mail. We only have until 29 June to make our voices heard!
Thank you very much for your support.
Once again Oliver is absent, this time at a funeral, but he left us some fascinating facts, such as
that on this day in 1912 Alan Turing was born. Turing helped to win World War 2 for the British by inventing the electronic computer to decode the German enigma codes. He was 'rewarded' with chemical castration, which led to him to commit suicide with a poisoned apple.
In 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for Turing's treatment.
And now the news:
Earliest mammoth image
Solving mysterious animal deaths
T. rex's arms helped them stand up
No cull of Welsh badgers
Cat steals from everyone in neighbourhood
Many thanks to those who have so far donated; your contributions are very welcome and much appreciated. If you haven’t yet donated but want to there is still a bit of time left.
Just to recap: to sponsor a trail cam will cost £100. If that seems a little steep why not get a group together to sponsor one? A group of five will pay just £20 each. Sponsors will get an update on any pictures and when something exciting is spotted your name will go up in lights alongside the photo.
Don’t despair if you miss out on Trevor; he has plenty of friends who also need help in breaking free.
Your sponsorship will pay for the release and upkeep of Trevor and kin, but sadly you will have no rights to take him home.
Now doesn’t that sound like a good deal? Armchair cryptozoology at its best. All the fun of an expedition without being bitten by scary tropical insects.
If you like the sound of this then please get in touch; we would love to hear from you. For further information you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can be made via PayPal to Trailcams@CFZ.org.uk
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This 46th collection once again really is completely uncategoriseable stuff, including killer spiders in Japan, a motorway death plunge, rhino attack, whale suicides, whale shark/diver interaction, animal organ donors, caterpillar plague, the medical uses of crab excrement, and Scottish sperm whale strandings. Good stuff.
AMPHIBIANS ACROSS ROADS
Journal of Herpetology 44(4): 618-626
David A. Patrick, Christopher M. Schalk, James P. Gibbs & Hara W. Woltz
Abstract: Efficient deployment of culverts to mitigate mortality of amphibians on roadways requires identification of locations within road networks where animals cross (hotspots), points within identified hotspots for culvert placement, and attributes of culverts that make them behaviorally palatable to migrating individuals. In this study, we assessed road crossing frequency of Spotted Salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum, and American Toads, Anaxyrus americanus, along a 700-m transect within a known crossing hotspot, and related these distributions to habitat variables within the hotspot including the presence of existing culverts. We also placed experimental arrays of culverts of varying attributes in the path of migrating Spotted Salamanders to examine culvert preference by salamanders under typical movement environments and appropriate animal behavioral states. Our studies of patterns of road occurrence demonstrated that both species avoided crossing where there was a wetl!
and within 15 m of the downslope of the road and that neither species showed a strong preference for crossing near existing culverts. When considering the choice for experimental culverts by Spotted Salamanders, we found no preference for culverts of varying aperture size, length, or substrate. Our results indicate that patterns of occurrences of the two species of amphibian within a crossing hotspot may be linked to the physical attributes at the site. For Spotted Salamanders in particular, predicting where they will cross within a hotspot may not be easy. Spotted Salamanders showed little preference for culverts of different design, indicating that a variety of culvert designs can suffice for mitigation if placed in appropriate locations.
A pdf of this article is available from the CNAH PDF Library at
On this day in 1856 the author H. Rider Haggard was born. Haggard is best known for his adventure novels like King Solomon's Mines which introduced the world to his character Allan Quatermain and the 'Lost World' fiction genre.
And now the news:
Why Cleaner fish punish their partners for putting...
Dingy skipper puts in rare appearance in Worcester...
Emperor penguin appears on New Zealand beach
Scotland's 'bizarre' seal plans under fire
RSPB wildlife warning over EU farmland funding
Bats' hairs are 'airspeed sensor'
NEW NESSIE SIGHTING (Via Lindsay Selby)
Monday, June 20, 2011
Who is this little devil? (no pun intended) Owl man? Beelzebub? Or the Genie of the lamp!
You may think I spend hours in front of my lava lamp waiting for things to appear but honestly Jon I simply switch the thing on and another imp from the never-world turns up!
You don't know a good exorcist do you?
A singular reptile or fish was caught here a few days since, and is now in a glass jar before us. It has a skin like a catfish, a head and tail like an eel. The gills are on the outside of the neck, and it has four legs like a lizard, terminating in a miniature human hand. It is about fifteen inches long and was taken with a hook. No one here has ever seen a creature like it, though [naturalist Zadock] Thompson in his book of Vermont, describes a similar one, caught at Colchester, near Burlington.
A third similar specimen appeared in July 1902, when the Milwaukee Journal (10 July) reported that William Wuertzberger, from Racine, had “dipped a curious fish” from Lake Michigan. As described in the article:
It has the head of a lizard and body of a fish, is fourteen inches long and two-and-a-half inches in diameter, of grayish color and with black spots. It has four feet, resembling those of a lizard, but much smaller and the tail of an eel. When placed in the water with other fish it emitted pills which dissolved and killed the other fish. There were no eyes. There are two small ears, an eighth of an inch in diameter, but when the fish became angry would extend over an inch.
In retrospect, it is difficult to understand why these creatures confused and astounded local residents—much less journalists with reference works at their fingertips. Both animals described sound very much like common mudpuppies or waterdogs, formally described in 1818 as Necturus maculosus. This salamander species inhabits most of the American Midwest, including Wisconsin, and claims a record length exceeding nineteen inches. Their range of coloration matches the descriptions, and mudpuppies retain their fanlike gills into adulthood, simulating external ears.
2. Close-up of the mudpuppy’s ear-like gills.
3. Salamander eggs.
The account of Cockatrice Hall is from Doug Pickford`s Macclesfield Mysterious and Macabre:
Hatched from a cockerel egg
'Just a little north of Pagan Wassail there used to be a building known as Cockatrice Hall. But information about this building is shrouded in mystery. Near to the former Town Mission ( which later became the Lorimar Studios and then, more recently, a nightclub) was, it is believed, an estate known as Cockatrice Estate.
It was mentioned in a deed dated 29 April 1754, when the estate and other considerations went to Joseph Hobson of Macclesfield and others in trust. Mr Hobson was a member of the Society of Friends, or Quakers.
Cockatrice is the name given to a fabulous serpent hatched from a cock`s egg. Little or nothing else is known about the building, or why it should have been given such a mysterious name - a pagan mythical beast`s hall almost adjoining a pagan site for drinking and fornication! Likewise, little or nothing is known about who was responsible for building it, or when….' (1)
A Giant Turtle
When Mauritius was ceded to Great Britain in 1810 there was a gigantic turtle in a court at the artillery barracks at Port Louis which is still there, although almost blind. It weighs 330 pounds, and stands two feet high when walking. Its shell is 81/2feet long, and it can carry two men on its back with ease. (2)
1 D.Pickford Macclesfield Mysterious and Macabre (2002) p. 29
2 Hopkinsville Kentuckian 29 Dec 1903
On this day in 1631 Captain John Smith died. Smith was an explorer who set up Britain's first successful colony in North America.
And now the news:
Casino staff forced to wear flea collars at Auckla...
Plague of ravenous mice eat farmer John Gregory's ...
Illinois man who kept alligator to woo women charg...
Giant tortoise bachelors Al and Tex find romance a...
Orangutan rescues coot chick from water at zoo in ...
Seal rescued from Hinkley Point B power station wa...
Gyrfalcons are 'secret seabirds'
Thief demands £1m ransom for boy's cat
Seems a good opportunity to post the latest Simon's cat vid:
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Remember the carcass on the Danish beach a few days ago?? Well, thanks to a bit of sleuthing and some eager locals, we managed to locate the thing again, and after a lot of digging in very smelly remains - lo and behold - a skull was found. It turned out the critter was a very dead fox!! Have told everybody involved to remember to include some scale or something in future photographs!!
Another day, another country, and this time we are in Nicaragua, and what random facts do I know about this country? Well, it has a seventeenth-century fortress going by the name Castillo de la Concepción or Fortress of the Immaculate Conception, which does conjure up the image of a fearsome convent for some dark reason. Away from the random names what else can be found in Nicaragua? Well, there is the Xipe.
Yet another mystery hominid, the Xipe, with a name that can be interpreted as either ‘the flayed one’ or ‘he with the penis.' It is perhaps surprising given the names that the Xipe isn’t a horrific walking cadaver or a flasher but a cave-dwelling monkey around 2-4 feet high, covered in hair and sharing the tradition of many mystery apemen in that it has feet that face backwards. It has been recorded that in 1968 a group of Nicaraguan peasants tracked a Xipe to its cave lair and killed it by asphyxiation having set a fire of brushwood outside the cave and letting it do the dirty work. Once again there were no remains preserved or photos taken.
Creating a Successful Citizen Science Model to Detect and Report Invasive Species by Travis Gallo and Damon Waitt BioScience 61(6):459-465. 2011
Travis Gallo (email@example.com) is an ecologist, and Damon Waitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the senior botanist, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Damon Waitt is also the founder, creator, and current program director of the Invaders of Texas program. Travis Gallo is the program coordinator and runs the day-to-day operations of the program.
The Invaders of Texas program is a successful citizen science program in which volunteers survey and monitor invasive plants throughout Texas. Invasive plants are being introduced at alarming rates, and our limited knowledge about their distribution is a major cause for concern. The Invaders of Texas program trains citizen scientists to detect the arrival and dispersal of invasive plants in their local areas and to report them into an online, statewide mapping database. In order to test the value of citizen scientists' data, we compared Invaders of Texas citizen scientists' observations of Arando donax (giant reed) with previously recorded A. donax observations in Texas and found an increase in the reed's overall distribution. A comparison with observations from the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, a similar citizen science program, confirmed that, given proper training, citizen scientists are able to detect and report invasive plants in their local areas, and the data they collect can be used by professional scientists.
On this day in 1952 the actor John Goodman was born. Goodman is best known for his roles in the Coen Brothers' films Raising Arizona, Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski.
And now the news:
Bald eagle dropped a fawn on a powerline
6-foot python found atop garbage truck in Ohio
Boa Constrictor: Not an Enthusiastic Camping Buddy...
Legless in Seattle
Greedy Snake is greedy:
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Today we find ourselves in Costa Rica, a country that that has done something more countries should consider doing: it has abolished its military forces. Aside from that interesting fact, what else can we find out about it? Well, the country’s largest lake is Lake Arenal, which, at 33 square miles, is a fair old size. It also has a depth of up to 200 feet, and it is within these vast waters that we go looking for Costa Rica’s cryptid.
The first reports of a mystery animal in the waters of the lake come from the early 1970s when some fishermen reported seeing a 98ft-long lake monster with a cow-like head; sounding rather like a fisherman’s tale of the one that got away, perhaps it’s not the most believable of creatures. However, perhaps more believable are the appearances of crocodiles in the waters of the lake. Where they have come from appears to be a mystery and there is still a little doubt that they are even there. Whatever the truth of it, it’s recommended not to go swimming in the waters.
Next stop: Nicaragua
SUMMARY: USF&WS invites you to provide us with information and recommendations on animal and plant species that should be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES or the Convention) at the upcoming sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16). Such amendments may concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendix II. Finally, with this notice, we also describe the U.S. approach to preparations for CoP16. We will publish a second Federal Register notice to solicit information and recommendations on possible resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP16 and to provide information on how to request approved observer status.
DATES: We will consider all information and comments we receive on or before August 15, 2011. ADDRESSES: Send correspondence pertaining to species proposals to the Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; Room 110; Arlington, VA 22203; or via e-mail to: CoP16species@fws.gov. Comments and materials we receive pertaining to species proposals will be available for public inspection, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Division of Scientific Authority.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority; phone 703-358- 1708; fax 703-358-2276; e-mail: email@example.com.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora, hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention, is an international treaty designed to regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. These species are listed in the Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/ index.shtml.
Currently, 175 countries, including the United States, are Parties to CITES. The Convention calls for regular biennial meetings of the Conference of the Parties, unless the Conference decides otherwise. At these meetings, the Parties review the implementation of CITES, make provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its functions, consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices I and II, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country that is a Party to CITES may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration by all the Parties at the meeting.
This is our first in a series of Federal Register notices that, together with an announced public meeting, provide you with an opportunity to participate in the development of the U.S. submissions to and negotiating positions for the sixteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16). Our regulations governing this public process are found in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at § 23.87.
For Rest of this announcement, it it long, full of information of what information you need to submit, history of CITEs, format, etc. email Rosemarie Gnam at firstname.lastname@example.org or Allen Salzberg/Herpdigest at email@example.com
WOULD APPRECIATE A COPY OF ANY PROPOSAL YOU SUBMIT
Identifying plausible scenarios for the establishment of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus) in Southern Florida (Via Herp Digest)
Biological Invasions-Volume 13, Number 7, John D. Willson, Michael E. Dorcas and Raymond W. Snow
Contact: John Wilson, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Virginia Polytechni Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Nlacksburg, VA 2406, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful invasions of secretive alien species often go unrecognized until spread has exceeded the point where control or eradication is feasible. In such situations, understanding factors that contributed to establishment can be critical to preventing subsequent introductions of previously-successful invaders or ecologically similar species. The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), a native to Southeast Asia, is abundant in the pet trade and is now well-established in southern Florida.
Although there can be little argument that the ultimate source of Florida pythons was the pet industry, there has been limited consideration of biological support for scenarios that may have lead to their establishment. In this study we use information on python capture rates and biologically-derived population growth models to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios for python establishment. Our results indicate that scenarios involving relatively recent establishment (post-1990) require large numbers (100-1,000) of founders or unrealistically high juvenile survivorship. Intentional simultaneous release of large numbers of pythons is unlikely and accidental release of large numbers of founders is inconsistent with the spatial and temporal pattern of pythons captures in the region. We conclude that the most parsimonious scenario for establishment of pythons in Florida involves the release of a relatively small number of founders prior to 1985. Our results demonstrate that for pythons and other species with low inherent detection probabilities, early action during incipient phases of an invasion is critical and understanding likely introduction scenarios is important for preventing similar situations from occurring elsewhere or with other species.
You'll remember Roanoke Island (or not) from a few weeks ago when I mentioned Lord Grenville; well, on this day in 1586 the British colonists left/died/got abducted by aliens.
And now the news:
Two More Mountain Lion Sightings Reported
DEP: Dead Mountain Lion Was Held In Captivity
Claims of Mountain Lions Roaming in Connecticut Dr...
NEW FOSSIL LAND-CRAB FROM HAWAII
Captive Male Darwin's Frog Coughs up Babies (Via H...
Shelling out help for Kingdom's Turtles (Via Herp ...
Daniel Hamilton, Student dies while pursuing passi...
Another random video with nothing to do with today's news but seriously; you HAVE to watch this penguin version of Professor Layton. Turn the sound up for this too:
Friday, June 17, 2011
The PA UFO-Bigfoot Conference
From CFZ Australia:
Monster crocodilian caught in NT
Meet the Cryptozoologist: Richard Freeman
Feral leopard trapped in Australia
Australian carnivorous 'Spinosaur' under spotlight
From CFZ Canada:
Flying bear kills two Canadians in freak accident
The pod was swimming peacefully in the Solomon Islands when nets closed in from behind -- trapping 25 wild dolphins for a luxury resort's latest exhibit. They are now locked in tiny pens, starved of food -- but we can free them.
On this day in 1945 Lord Haw-Haw was charged with treason.
And now the news:
Rare Chinese reptile discovered in bin
Is this what they mean by the ugly tree? (Via Dawn...
Grand Rapids audience shows support for wolf delis...
Minnesota research project focuses on saving tiny ...
Are More Mountain Lions Roaming Greenwich Or Are R...
Oh, No! "Most Convincing Evidence of Bigfoot" News...
Nothing to do with Bigfoot but this is a great video that I just had to share:
Hi Guys,Finally we have the results of the DNA analysis of the antler samples from India. It has taken an awful lot of time, but we do need to check and recheck and check again - and earn a living every now and then :-).
Unfortunately there was no new species in there after all...
The antlers turned out to be from a Sambhur (Sambar) deer -(Rusa unicolor) presumably a juvenile - because although the antlers of an adult resemble those of a fallow deer, the antlers of the juvenile surprised me greatly by looking like those of a muntjac.
It is mildly disappointing but our job is to find out the truth, and not purely to look for cryptids, and we have found the truth.
Richard Freeman and I would like to thank Tom Gilbert and his team for all their painstaking work. And as I often do, I am going to take refuge in the words of Rudyard Kipling:
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled --
Once, twice and again!
And a doe leaped up, and a doe leaped up
From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup.
This I, scouting alone, beheld,
Once, twice, and again!