Friday, January 27, 2012

Cryptozoology, ed by Chad Arment

This is a collection of essays about cryptozoological animals: animals that are unknown, or presumed extinct although the occasional unverified sighting still occurs, or known only to locals and not to scientists, etc. I love well-researched books about cryptozoology, and since Karl Shuker hasn't published anything new recently, I was pleased to find this book.

The subtitle is "The Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals," which particularly appealed to me. Who wants to rehash bigfoot over and over when you can learn about bioluminescent spiders and possible new habitats of coelacanths? (Blogger's spellcheck is freaking out at this post.)

The essays tend mostly to the scientific and are well-researched and with citations and foot/end notes, although a few that are more informal in tone. It's all readable, though, and all fascinating. The last chapter is an interesting mishmash of reprinted articles from old newspapers that need to be verified by researchers. As the editor points out, journalists from the late 19th/early 20th century sometimes made up stories of strange animal sightings to fill space. He gives tips on how to spot phony articles.

I enjoyed the book very much. If you're at all interested in cryptozoology (and why aren't you? It's fascinating!), this is a great addition to the more readily available bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster books out there.

B&N link


Kelly Robinson said...

Oh, this sounds fun. I enjoy cryptozoology too, especially when it's not the nutjob variety --though I do have a fondness for globsters.

K.C. Shaw said...

Globsters. Yum. lol

I get frustrated with a lot of cryptozoology books that are easily available, because they're either badly researched or cover the same old topics (or both).