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Cryptozoology is, literally, the study of hidden animals. It is the study of such creatures as the Australian bunyipBigfoot, the chupacabra, and the Loch Ness monster. It is not a recognized branch of the science of zoology.

Cryptozoology relies heavily upon testimonials and circumstantial evidence in the form of legends and folklore, and the stories and alleged sightings of mysterious beasts by indigenous peoples, explorers, and travelers. Since cryptozoologists spend most of their energy trying to establish the existence of creatures, rather than examining actual animals, they are more akin to psi researchers than to zoologists.

Expertise in zoology, however, is asserted to be a necessity for work in cryptozoology, according to Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, who coined the term to describe his investigations of animals unknown to science. This focus on evaluating the evidence for "cryptids" was continued by the International Society for Cryptozoology, which is now defunct.

See also cryptozoology topical listings.

further reading

books and articles

Bauer, Henry H. "Cryptozoology," in The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal, ed. G. Stein (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996).

Coleman, Loren and Jerome Clark. Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia Of Loch Monsters Sasquatch Chupacabras and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature (Fireside 1999).

Heuvelmans, Bernard, Dr., On the Track of Unknown Animals, 3rd ed. (London: Kegan Paul International Limited, 1955).

Radford, Ben. 2011. Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore. U of New Mexico Press.

Shuker, Karl P. N. From Flying Toads to Snakes with Wings : From the Pages of Fate Magazine (Llewellyn Publications, 1997).


Weird Predators Petting Zoo

Ben Roesch's Cryptozoology Page

Ron Schaffner's Cryptozoology Page

Pib Burns' page on cryptozoology

"The Serpent’s" Tale by Kurt W. Burchfiel (Strange Magazine)

Cryptozoology Publications

Review of Loren Coleman's Cryptozoology A to Z by Steve Burgess (Salon)


New Skeptical Cryptozoology Books! Sasquatch, Vampires, Zombies, and other man-beasts from Joe Nickel; Chupacabra from Ben Radford; Nessie and other lake monsters from Daniel Loxton; and Champ from Robert Bartholomew.

Last updated 27-Oct-2015

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