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A Review of Cryptozoology: Towards a Scientific Approach to the Study of “Hidden Animals”

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Problematic Wildlife

Abstract

Cryptozoology is still generally considered a non-academic discipline based on a mostly pseudoscientific approach aimed at studying animals whose existence is not yet supported by incontrovertible physical evidence. This chapter aims to present a critical review of the most important published attempts at defining this discipline in order to propose a new and scientifically acceptable definition of “cryptozoology” and to suggest how to integrate it with the present approach to conservation by helping in the discovery of new species and the rediscovery of supposedly extinct ones. The results of this review indicate that, although several cryptozoological hypotheses present pseudoscientific claims, the cryptozoological method can be considered scientific overall and, despite to the claims of some critics, cryptozoology is not redundant with respect to zoology.

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Acknowledgments

For their invaluable help, I wish to thank: Francesco Maria Angelici and Matt Bille for their advice, Marco Signore and Mauro Cella for their suggestions and translation, Dario Marcello Soldan, Charles Paxton, and Ulrich Magin for some papers I needed and was not able to find. I thank the two anonymous referees for their careful reading of my manuscript and their insightful comments and suggestions.

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Rossi, L. (2016). A Review of Cryptozoology: Towards a Scientific Approach to the Study of “Hidden Animals”. In: Angelici, F. (eds) Problematic Wildlife. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22246-2_26

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