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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Saturday 11 October 2014


Front cover section of the complete wraparound cover artwork for my forthcoming book The Menagerie of Marvels (© Anthony Wallis)

It was way back in 1991 when my second book, Extraordinary Animals Worldwide, was published, by Robert Hale Limited of London. Containing accounts of lesser-known cryptozoological beasts and scarcely-known mainstream creatures, and plentifully supplied with exquisite antiquarian chromolithographs, engravings, and other vintage illustrations wherever possible, it purposefully recalled a bygone generation of natural history books, dating predominantly from the 19th and early 20th Centuries, whose subject matter, generally a deft, eclectic interweaving of speculative zoology, the history of animal discovery, and wildlife mythology of the ancients, was popularly referred to by its authors and readers alike as romantic zoology.

Such was the enduring appeal of my book's modern-day contribution to this now all-but-lost subject – indeed, eventually gaining a cult status among cryptozoological aficionados in particular – that I was encouraged to prepare a much-expanded, updated edition, entitled Extraordinary Animals Revisited, which was published in 2007, this time by CFZ Press. Updating some of the most popular chapters from the original book and also adding many new ones, it went on to attract an even greater following than its predecessor, and remains in print today.

With Extraordinary Animals Revisited at its official launch in August 2007 at the CFZ's Weird Weekend (© Mark North)

By 'mixing and matching' cryptozoology with mainstream zoology, these two books have each enabled me to include within a single volume a much greater diversity of creatures than in other works of mine, and in turn have indulged me in my desire to investigate and write about certain truly obscure animals that have long fascinated me. Consequently, it was only a matter of time before I would give in to temptation and compile a third compendium of extraordinary animals - and now I have done so, via my forthcoming 21st book.

Entitled The Menagerie of Marvels (and employing the aforementioned phrase A Third Compendium of Extraordinary Animals as its subtitle in order to confirm its inclusion within the Extraordinary Animals canon of works), it is due to be published in good time for Christmas, and once again by CFZ Press. So here, to tease and tantalise, is a first sneak-preview, consisting of the truly spectacular artwork that longstanding friend and superb artist Anthony Wallis has kindly prepared for its wraparound cover – thanks Ant!

The complete wraparound cover artwork for The Menagerie of Marvels (© Anthony Wallis)

Demonstrating the diversity of this book's plentiful contents (running to over 20 chapters and more than 260 pages), it features a woolly mammoth, a Nandi bear in giant baboon mode, and, taking centre-stage in all their rapacious glory, a very formidable pair of terror birds or phorusrhacids.

Further details concerning the numerous subjects appearing within The Menagerie of Marvels will be released in future ShukerNature sneak previews between now and its publication – so watch this space!

The first two volumes in my series of Extraordinary Animals compendia (© Dr Karl Shuker)


  1. Very cool Karl! The cover art for the new book looks awesome. I'll be sure to get it when it comes out… I've read your 2003 book The Beasts that Hide from Man and hope this one is just as good!

  2. This new book sounds fascinating, and I'll do my best to obtain a copy as soon as I can. I love that you write about lesser known cryptids, and so I find it surprising that you have yet to write about Panthera (leo?) atrox, the American cave lion. This feline is considered to be perhaps the largest, smartest (based on a brain size to body size ratio), and most powerful felid to ever walk this earth. From a cryptozoological standpoint, this creature could be responsible for the sightings of black panthers in the southern USA. It would be great if you could dwelve into this topic in an upcoming book. Thank you for listening, and I wish you the most luck.

  3. I am very much looking forward to reading this book!