Cryptozoology is the study or search for previously
unknown or hidden animals. Belief in unknown and new animals has existed for a very long time, as evidenced by
mankind's fascination with demons,
dragons, and dinosaurs.
Peter the Great for example, believed the Wooly Mammoth could still be alive
and organised expeditions to find it.
The serious study of the
fauna of earth, what is called Zoology, was first established in the
1500's, and has since catalogued most of the animals
on Earth. Cryptozoology,
"the study of hidden and unknown life."
The animals that Cryptozoologists search for are
referred to as "cryptids". Cryptozoology
is best seen as a sub-group of Zoology, though it
currently lacks acceptance as a science by the scientific community.
For the most part, Zoology started off with the large creatures, and worked its way
down to the smallest. Large
well known organisms like humans and
other large mammals were classified quickly. Over time Zoology
began looking for new species
on an ever smaller and smaller
scale as it became popular belief that all large
species had already been found and identified. Traditional
Zoology expects to identify new species in two ways:
investigation of habitats not yet fully explored eg:
rain forests, the oceans.
2. Studying tiny life forms,
such as insects and the even smaller microscopic
Cryotozoology differs from zoology in that it is generally not interested in studying
species that have already been identified, nor is it interested in small animal lifeforms,
Cryptozoologists investigate evidence for the
large animals that are either presently scientifically unknown or presumed extinct.
Cryptozoologists look for creatures like sea serpents and bigfoot,
hoping to gather enough evidence to prove that these beings exist. They also
look for more commonplace animals, such as the ivory-billed woodpecker, the
giant vampire bat, the inflatable hedgehog and the pygmy elephant.
Cryotozoology has had some spectacular success stories, including the
pongo (now known as the
gorilla), the okapi (an
animal that looks like a cross between a giraffe and zebra),
prehistoric fish thought to be extinct) and many others.
By its very nature Cryotozoology
takes in some very strange territory, and often rubs shoulders with UFO's,
folklore & the paranormal. This is part of the reason I think the scientific
community shuns Cryotozoology. The fact there have
been frequent hoaxes in the field must also turn away the scientists.
Types of Cryptids >