Variations: Collapsofemoris geocatapeltes (Cox)

The Tripodero of the Californian chaparral and foothills defies all scientific attempts at classification. Its small, strong body stands on two telescopic legs, with a kangaroo-like tail balancing it behind. As its legs can be collapsed or extended at will, the tripodero can stand tall over the brush, or crawl easily through the undergrowth. The tripodero’s face is all nose, with a storage pouch in its left jaw.

When a tripodero sees potential prey from its elevated vantage point, it sights down its snout and fires a clay slug, a supply of which is kept in a cheek pouch. Tripoderos have perfect aim and shoot with pinpoint accuracy. The clay pellet stuns the victim, allowing the tripodero to come in and devour it, bones and all.

Unlike other fearsome critters, the tripodero is associated primarily with construction sites, railroads, and engineering projects.


Brown, C. E. (1935) Paul Bunyan Natural History. Madison, Wisconsin.

Cox, W. T. (1910) Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods with a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. Judd and Detweiler, Washington D. C.

Dorson, R. M. (1982) Man and Beast in American Comic Legend. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Tryon, H. H. (1939) Fearsome Critters. The Idlewild Press, Cornwall, NY.


  1. I love your rendition of the tripodero, but I would like to see you cover some of the more obscure (as if they aren’t all obsucre!) Fearsome Critters and Critter-adjacents, such as the Owl-Eyed Ripple Skipper or Old Walleyes. There is a lot of information on obscure critters at but many of the critters listed there seem to have broken links to their pages, so maybe you can shed some light on what some of these things are supposed to be. A real wellspring of tantalizingly brief mentions of critters is the book Lenwood’s Lexicon of Lumberwoods Lore, which is featured on that website. Unfortunately, you will have to slog through Lenwood’s tortured alliteration to find any of the very scant information he provides. Sorry to dump another wall of text on your site, but I always seem to have more to say about creatures than I realize when I start typing.

    Liked by 1 person

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