Cryptozoology is the study of animals that aren’t recognized by science to exist. Unfortunately many misunderstand this and use the term to explain the study of magical/mystical creatures or monsters. That isn’t what cryptozoology looks for, yes some cryptozoologists do look for mythical creatures, like the unicorn and dragon, but the difference is that they don’t think the creatures are magical, they simply think they are unidentified animals. Cryptozoology does not include zombies, vampires, ghosts, extraterrestrials, the Rake, Slenderman, or fairies. I’ve seen people calling everything I just listed as a cryptid. (cryptids are any creature within cryptozoology).
I think the reason most people associate other things with cryptozoology is the simple fact that it is generally mocked and misrepresented as the zoology of frauds and cranks. This is unfortunate because almost every cryptozoologist have degrees in biology, zoology, and anthropology, often they have more degrees than just those as well. True cryptozoologists aren’t kooks who think the government is after them because they found “evidence” of something the government doesn’t like. True cryptozoologists are those who think there may be some mystery left in the world of zoology and strive to solve these mysteries. Yes, most of the better known cryptids seem to be sensationalized, and yes, often the media personifies these people as nutters, but nearly every person who has contributed to cryptozoology is completely qualified to do so.
To further this point I will list some important cryptozoologists or those who have contributed to the field and what their job description would technically be:
- Loren Coleman, anthropologist and psychologist
- Bernard Heuvelmans, zoologist
- Ivan T. Sanderson, zoologist
- Jeff Meldrum, anthropologist and evolutionary biologist
- Grover S. Krantz, anthropologist
- Mark A. Hall, naturalist
- Karl P. N. Shuker, zoologist
- Jane Goodall, primatologist
Cryptozoology and those who work within the field is simply the science of hidden animals, anything considered a cryptid should be some kind of animal, no entities, no spirits, no mystical creatures outside the realms of science. There are other fields for those.
Cryptozoology A to Z by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton