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Fearsome Critters - (1910)

The Tripodero (Collapsofemuris geocatapeltes) is a mysterious creature and a Fearsome Critter said to lurk in the California wilderness. It was described to have two contractile or telescopic legs and a kangaroo-like tail that it uses to balance itself while aiming. However, four-legged varieties of the Tripodero have also been seen in Texas. These lack the long tail and appear more like hogs. The Tripodero's body is not large but is solidly built, and its head is nearly all snout.

The Tripodero lives in areas of dense bush and undergrowth, hunting for birds and other small animals that are its main source of food. When it sees some prey, the tripodero slowly extends its legs, thereby raising its body above the brush. When it has a clear line of sight, the Tripodero then shoots a mud pellet (a supply of which it stores in its left cheek) out of its blowgun-like snout, then the prey is stunned and the Tripodero can then consume it. The Tripodero is a lethal creature of extreme accuracy and calculation who rarely misses.

When its legs are not extended, the Tripodero can move quite rapidly and stealthily through bush, although is still easily outrun by other woodland creatures. Though outmatched in speed, the Tripodero's natural firearm proves to be the great equalizer against its potential meal. With its legs extended, the Tripodero can be a very dangerous predator. Lurking over the bush, it can easily spot potential prey. 

Tripodero 3

Bird like Tripodero from Fearsome Critters - (1939)

Tripodero recent

Tripodero - (2015)

Tripodero Kickle Snifters

Tripodero from "Kickle Snifters & other fearsome critters" (1978)

In the 2015 horror inspired reimagining - 'Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by Hal Johnson' - the Tripodero is the world's largest echinoderm and the world's largest land echinoderm, as the Tripodero is also the only vertebrate echinoderm to be closely related to humans, despite its thought processes not being fully understood. Its subphylum is Triplozoa and weighs only 10 pounds. The Tripodero has the longest lifespan of any fearsome creature: Over 200+ years. Its eggs are rectangular and make good paperweights. The animal's temper is inscrutable. Its skull is bird-like and, despite having eye sockets, is featureless, but it does have a puckered beaked mouth that shoots out rock-hard sharp triangular teeth. The Tripodero's tail is prehensile and tentacle-like, as it looks more like the lower half of a snake, tail included, and even far more longer than before, as it's the reason the word tripod is in the creature's name; Tripodero. Its diet is detritivorous, meaning that it eats dead and decaying organic matter. The beast is surprisingly intelligent and knows how to count, but the Tripodero cannot count past twelve. The Tripodero is the most vertebrate of all echinoderms and is closely related to humans. It makes a high-pitched whistling sound as a warning to stay away from it and its eggs. The Tripodero is jealously overprotective to its children, and when its eggs are peacefully surrendered by any human who is caught trying to steal them without killing them as a sign of respect and trust and when the Tripodero reclaims its eggs and counts them, unawarely not noticing some of its eggs are gone, the Tripodero collects its eggs back to the original place in despair and shame. It kept its telescopic legs, and they can extend to a maximum of 20 feet tall, but they have a sharp toenail on each of its three toes. The scientific name is Bertha magna.

Further reading[]

"The Tripodero" from Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods (1910) by William T. Cox

"The Tripodero" from Fearsome Critters (1939) by Henry H. Tryon

Ives, Ronald L. (1938, April 2). “You Don’t Have To Believe It.” Science News Letter, Vol. 33,