Dr Karl P.N. Shuker BSc PhD FRES FZS is a zoologist who is internationally recognised as a world expert in cryptozoology (the scientific investigation of mystery animals whose existence or identity has yet to be formally ascertained), as well as in animal mythology and allied subjects relating to wildlife anomalies and inexplicabilia. He obtained a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology at the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology at the University of Birmingham (U.K.). He is now a freelance zoological consultant and writer, living in the West Midlands, England.
Dr Shuker is the author of numerous cryptozoological articles, and 20 books, including a collection of poetry.
His books are:
Mystery Cats of the World: From Blue Tigers to Exmoor Beasts(Robert Hale: London, 1989) Extraordinary Animals Worldwide (Robert Hale: London, 1991), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (HarperCollins: London, 1993), Dragons: A Natural History (Aurum Press: London/Simon & Schuster: New York, 1995), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant ‘Extinct’ Creatures Still Exist? (Blandford Press: London, 1995), The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Natural and Paranormal Mysteries (Carlton Books: London/JG Press: North Dighton, 1996), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings (Llewellyn Publications: St Paul, Minnesota, 1997), Mysteries of Planet Earth: An Encyclopedia of the Inexplicable (Carlton Books: London, 1999), The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature (Reader’s Digest: Pleasantville/Marshall Editions: London, 2001), The New Zoo: New and Rediscovered Animals of the Twentieth Century (House of Stratus Ltd: Thirsk, UK/House of Stratus Inc: Poughkeepsie, USA, 2002) [fully-updated, greatly-expanded, brand-new edition of The Lost Ark], The Beasts That Hide From Man: Seeking the World’s Last Undiscovered Animals (Paraview Press: New York, 2003), Extraordinary Animals Revisited: From Singing Dogs To Serpent Kings (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2007) [fully-updated, greatly-expanded, brand-new edition of Extraordinary Animals Worldwide], Dr Shuker’s Casebook: In Pursuit of Marvels and Mysteries (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2008), Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals on Stamps: A Worldwide Catalogue (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2008), Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009), Karl Shuker’s Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2010), The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals: From the Lost Ark to the New Zoo – and Beyond (Coachwhip Publications: Landisville, 2012) [fully-updated, greatly-expanded, brand-new third edition of The Lost Ark and The New Zoo], Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery: A Feline Phantasmagoria (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2012), Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (Anomalist Books: New York, 2013), and Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (Coachwhip Publications: Greenville, 2013).
Dr Shuker has acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes dealing with cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena.
These are: Man and Beast (Reader’s Digest: Pleasantville, New York, 1993), Secrets of the Natural World (Reader’s Digest: Pleasantville, New York, 1993), and Almanac of the Uncanny (Reader’s Digest: Surry Hills, Australia, 1995).
He continues to act as the zoological consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and also acted as consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: Edinburgh, 2007), Chambers Myths and Mysteries (Chambers: Edinburgh, 2008), and The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook (Dennis Publishing: London, 2009).
In addition, Dr. Shuker has contributed to and features in Of Monsters and Miracles (Croydon Museum Services & Interactive Designs Ltd: Oxton, 1995), a multi-contributor CD ROM providing an interactive voyage through the fascinating realm of mysteries and the unexplained.
Aside from books, Dr Shuker is the Editor of the Journal of Cryptozoology – the world’s only existing peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to mystery animals.
He has also acted as a Contributing Editor and cryptozoological columnist for Strange Magazine, and is a longstanding contributor to FATE Magazine, both published in the U.S.A. In the U.K., he is a Special Correspondent for, and also has two cryptozoological columns in, Fortean Times.
Over the years, he has contributed to a vast range of other publications too, including All About Cats, Cat World, All About Dogs, Wild About Animals, Animals Animals Animals, BBC Wildlife, The Biologist, History For All, Goblin Universe, Fortean Studies, CFZ Yearbook, Sightings, Western Morning News, Prediction, The Unknown, Uri Geller’s Encounters, Alien Encounters, Swara, Me Magazine, Avicultural Magazine, World Pheasant Association News, Animals and Men cryptozoology journal, Cryptozoology, ISC Newsletter, Jack Magazine, Mas Alla, Bizarre, Bike Magazine, Athene, Scan, The X-Factor, Beyond, Stamp Magazine, and, most recently, The Paranormal, Phenomena Magazine, Flying Snake, Practical Reptile Keeping, Small Furry Pets, The Aquarium Gazette, and Bird Watching, among others.
Online, Dr Shuker has established three highly successful blogs, to which he contributes on a regular basis. These are: ShukerNature, his award-winning blog on cryptozoology, wildlife anomalies, and animal mythology; The Eclectarium of Doctor Shuker, showcasing his many and varied interests outside cryptozoology; and Star Steeds, devoted to his poetry and, in particular, his published volume of poetry, Star Steeds and Other Dreams.
Dr Shuker appears regularly on television and radio, has acted as a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, as a question setter for the BBC’s cerebral quiz show Mastermind, and has travelled throughout the world during the course of his researches. He is a Scientific Fellow of the prestigious Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the International Society of Cryptozoology and other wildlife-related organisations, Cryptozoology Consultant to the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and is also a Member of the Society of Authors.
In 2005, Dr Shuker was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after him – Pliciloricus shukeri – by its discoverer, Danish zoologist Prof. Reinhardt Kristensen, in recognition of the outstanding contribution to international zoology of Dr Shuker’s book The Lost Ark.
Outside zoology, Dr Shuker’s interests include motorbikes, driving his Jaguar XJ6, vintage rock ‘n’ roll (Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, Gene Vincent, etc), the life and career of James Dean, the history of animation, poetry, quizzes, wildlife postage stamps, collecting masks (especially Venetian Commedia dell’Arte masquerade and carnival masks), and worldwide travel to exotic localities of zoological, archaeological, or mystical interest.
Such localities currently include: Easter Island, Florida Everglades, ‘monster-inhabited’ lakes of Iceland, volcanoes of the Westmann Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, Moroccan snake-charming centres, Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness, Lourdes, Ishtar Gate of Babylon (depicting a dragon-like beast now believed by some zoologists to comprise a representation of a living dinosaur), New Zealand’s world-famous Tiritiri Matangi island sanctuary for critically endangered birds (including the takahe and stitchbird), temples and associated relics of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, cropfield circles and areas allegedly frequented by unidentified cat-like beasts in U.K., Rio de Janeiro’s unique Tijuca urban rainforest, Kennedy Space Centre, Pyrenean and Canadian national parks, Grand Canyon (home to endangered Californian condors and unique Kaibab squirrels), San Diego Zoo (world’s biggest and most diverse zoological gardens), dragon and naga temples in the Far East, the Suffolk village of Woolpit where the legendary green children reputedly appeared many centuries ago, Australia’s Philip Island fairy blue penguin sanctuary and koala sanctuary, Stonehenge and Glastonbury, etc.
In November 2001, he became a high-bracket prize-winning contestant on the original, British version of the world’s most successful television quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, produced by Celador.
Dr Shuker also contributes to the following websites: