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, February 11, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: The Epistemological Function of Monsters in the Middle Ages

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, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.  
Monsters in the Middle Ages assumed significant epistemological functions, providing an image of the complete ‘other’ in the human quest for the self. Since late antiquity teratology played a big role in literature, art, philosophy, and religion, but meaning and relevance of monsters changed from author to author (the same applies to their visual representation). This article provides an overview of how the image of the monster changed throughout times and how individual writers evaluated them.


I wish here and now to make a SINCERE and HUMBLE apology to the white shoe on a beach in Wexford for claiming it was really an albino crocodile whilst at the same time apologising to all albino crocodiles in the coastal waters off Wexford at the time the photo was taken on another blog for passing one of you off as dead on said beach,when all the time "you" were a white shoe!

Thanks, I think that just about covers my tracks?!


CFZ PEOPLE: The Taylor-Rose Family

The CFZ truly is a family. Yesterday we went to a little church outside Barnstaple for the christening of Dougal Taylor-Rose, son of CFZ Volunteers Tim and Graidi. Afterwards we were made so welcome by their assembled families, that I cannot tell you what a lovely experience it was. Blessings on you all..

My days of singing in public are pretty well behind me, but if I had sung a song yesterday, it would have been this one:

CARL MARSHALL: An unknown centipede/feeding time for the Tarantulas

Mondays and Tuesdays at the Butterfly Farm are pupae days. Over these two days we receive packages of pupae from various tropical country's around the world, which we then send out in the thousands to numerous zoological gardens around Britain, Europe and the United States to be displayed. Anyway, today while preforming this task we received a welcome surprise, as hidden within one of the African shipments was a small, yet very aggravated centipede of an unknown species - at present unknown to us that is.

It is about 5 cm in length (approx 2 inches), has orange legs and antennae and an orange and dark brown segmented body with 20 segments - see images for more details.  I have not yet had chance to determine nomenclature for this specimen, so if any readers believe they recognise this genus please post a comment. More detailed information can be given if required.  

Over the next few weeks there will be a follow up post, hopefully positively identifying this centipede.     


Feeding time for the Indian ornamental tarantula Poecilotheria regalis (Greek "Poikilos - spotted and "therion" - wild beast and "ragalis" - royal). Note the vibrant yellow and black warning colours on the undersides of the first and second pairs of legs. These markings are not a bluff as this arboreal species is extremely aggressive, and as far as the Theraphosidae family (tarantulas) go they have a very unpleasant and medically significant bite. P. regalis originates in southwestern India through the Nilgiri Hills and is also found in Sri Lanka.


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. So after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.


Things are slowly (very slowly) getting back to normal. Whatever it was that Dave B-P did to our telephone line seems to have worked, and we no longer get cut off every few minutes. However it is still painfully slow and I have an enormous backlog of things to do, which are all taking far longer than they should do. Please be patient, and - by the way - thank you to everyone who has sent me e-mails of support. They mean a lot to me.
The Gonzo Track of the Day is from Mr James Osterberg
Chris Squire talks about the new tour and Rush joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
A tribute to Rick Wakeman from a talented pianist

*  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:
* 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 53 who - together with his orange cat puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish and batrachians. 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 cat?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1938 the world's first science fiction television series was shown on the BBC, it was called P.U.K. and was based on a play of the same name.
P.U.K. also popularised the use of the term “Robot”, speaking of that here's what Steve Wright (the DJ not the serial killer) used to get up to in the early 90s: