Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. He is the author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), Dragons: A Natural History (1995), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), The Unexplained (1996), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings (1997), Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999), The Hidden Powers of Animals (2001), The Beasts That Hide From Man (2003), Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (2013), The Menagerie of Marvels (2014), A Manifestation of Monsters (2015), Here's Nessie! (2016), and what is widely considered to be his cryptozoological magnum opus, Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors (2016) - plus, very excitingly, his first two long-awaited, much-requested ShukerNature blog books (2019, 2020).

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com/index.htm

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Wednesday 2 February 2011


Trunko in blue (Lance Bradshaw)

Let me confirm immediately that my blog is NOT making me feel depressed! On the contrary, thanks to the interest and comments that my posts here continue to generate from their readers, and the prospect of compiling an entire book based upon them, I have never felt more buoyant about ShukerNature since its inception just over two years ago. No, the reason for this post's blue-headed title stems from a quite remarkable, wholly unexpected, and (at least to me) truly inexplicable discovery that I have just made after reviewing the statistics for ShukerNature.

Several sets of stats concerning a person's blog are available for inspection by him/her on Blogger, and perhaps the most interesting set is the Top 10 posts of all time for that blog. In the case of ShukerNature (on which I have uploaded well over 100 posts of mine so far), I was extremely intrigued by the result - so much so, in fact, that I felt it warranted a blog post of its own!

So here is the Top Ten ShukerNature posts of all time - be prepared for some surprises!

#1: The mystery blue spider of Yorkshire (25 August 2010)

#2: Behold, Trunko!! (Trunko exclusive #1) (6 September 2010)

#3: Trunko, two more photographs (Trunko exclusive #2) (9 September 2010)

#4: South Africa's hairless blue horse (24 March 2010)

#5: Dragons of Babylon and dinosaurs of the Bible (18 January 2011)

#6: Smethwick devil (4 September 2010)

#7: Orang pendek (24 November 2010)

#8: Blue tigers (17 May 2009)

#9: The last Harpagornis (14 July 2010)

#10: A diversity of devil-fishes (6 March 2009)

And as if this listing were not already surreal enough, the post at #1 has been viewed more times than all of the next nine posts combined - but why?!

As far as I can see, the evident (and only?) moral that can be drawn from this entertaining little exercise in blog analysis is that from now on I should clearly concentrate all of my efforts on writing about blue animals!

And if I really want to maximise my readership, the ideal subject to write about would be a blue-furred devilish version of Trunko! So if anyone ever happens to encounter such an entity out there, please do let me know!


  1. I remember hearing quite some time ago that there are not that many things in nature which are blue, compared to other colors. In my mind this could account for people's fascination with blue creatures.

  2. I'm not sure, as there are certainly a fair few species of blue butterfly, bird, flower, fish, and even lizards, frogs, and crustaceans, for instance. Perhaps the 'blue surprise' element kicks in when this colour, which is eyecatching at the best of times, is exhibited by animals not normally associated with it, such as tigers, horses, and spiders. Perhaps I could test this 'surprise' factor by writing about other vehemently odd-coloured beasts, of which I have plenty on file - everything from orange raccoons and bona fide purple cows to green polar bears and pink hippos (no, not George from Rainbow!). Having said that, I did post a blog here recently about pink elephants and white elephants, which didn't get into the all-time Top Ten of ShukerNature blogs, so who knows?

  3. Karl, look at the "Keywords" stats in the "Traffic Sources" section. That should give you a good idea of just what it is that's bringing the most people to your site and therefore what's the big attraction of your top posts.

    While I'm here I should also say you should install the "Popular Posts" and "Labels" widgets in your sidebar. Also Google "Link Within" and install the "Link Within" gadget on your site. I can pretty much guarantee it'll increase your page views dramatically if you do those three things.

  4. Karl, in your Dashboard, go to the "Design" page.

    At the top of the dotted sidebar box, press, "Add a Gadget." A bunch of gadget suggestions will appear in a pop-up box. Simply click on the ones you want to install then press "Save". You don't have to make any changes to them. They're set up to work properly as they are. The "Popular Posts" gadget should be the first or second option that appears. The "Labels" one should be further down the list.

    As for the "Link Within" gadget, go to this site http://www.linkwithin.com/learn and follow the instructions. They're pretty straightforward. It only takes a few seconds to do and you're sorted.

    Once you've got them installed, just press "Save" at the top of your Dashboard page and you're done. :)

  5. Hi Steve, Thanks very much for your much-valued advice, which, as you can see, I've begun following with all speed! The Popular Posts and Labels widgets are now installed. I just wish I could get them to appear directly below the first three inserts in the side bar (i.e. the Nature Blog Network icon, the Blog Archive, and the Dr Karl Shuker info box), instead of considerably below them, but they will not position themselves there. Meanwhile, All I need to do now is find the Link Within gadget and install it. So thanks again, and all the best, Karl

  6. Sorted! Just installed the Links Within gadget! Thanks Steve, I really appreciate this! All the best, Karl

  7. The Popular Posts and Labels gadgets appearing so far down the page is strange. They should appear directly under the gadget above them.

    Have you tried positioning them above the Archive gadget? They should be above it anyway, as people tend to use the Labels to navigate on blogs rather than the Archives list. On your "Design" page, place your cursor over the "Labels" rectangle, hold down the left-click button on your mouse and drag the rectangle up to just above where the Archives rectangle is, then release the mouse button, and the Labels box should snap into place. Hopefully that should sort out your problem.

  8. I just did a little google search of favorite color and it appears that blue is the overwhelming favorite. Maybe people just love anything blue. It'll be interesting to see how people respond if you keep posting odd colored animals. I look forward to seeing the purple cows and the pink hippos.

  9. Hi Steve, I've discovered the answer to my problem. When I checked the HTML for the Dr Karl Shuker box, the text was followed by line after line of blank, which is what was creating the huge gap underneath the box, so I just deleted these blank lines, and everything closed up beneath it. However, I've now moved this box to just beneath the blog title header anyway, so it all looks good! Thanks again!

  10. Great stuff. Glad to be of assistance.

  11. Dr. Shuker, do you have any information on Alvaro Mesquita's camptosaur sighting?

    Best Wishes,

    Noah Eckenrode,

    Amateur Cryptozoologist