Pellucidar Bestiary

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Animal: Tola
Close Surface Cousin: ??? ( Maybe something within the Testudine order: Testudines )
Source: At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 10
Environment: ???

“How large is Pellucidar?” I asked, wondering what sort of theory these primitive men had concerning the form and substance of their world. “The Mahars say it is round, like the inside of a tola shell,” he answered…

Note: At some point we will get to make up our own Pellucidarian names for creatures they describe but don’t name; also at some point we will get to make up descriptions for Pellucidarian animals they name but don’t describe.


Animal: Hairless Lidi
Close Surface Cousin: ???
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 4
Environment: ???

[quote=“trashHeap, post:10, topic:2551”]
She described the Mahars largely by comparisons. In this way they were like unto thipdars, in that to the hairless lidi.

Note: See the lidi specifically for the diplodocus controversy. Unless clarified by a later chapter or public domain book, I am choosing to assume two lidis; both a hairless and a hairy variety. Otherwise back in “At the Earth’s Core” Chapter 4 Dian said the Pellucidarian equivalent of “Tigers are like bigger more vicious house cats AND furry orangutans” while trying to describe a tiger to someone who never saw one before. (Which is an incredibly stupid way to describe a tiger to someone who has never seen one.)

Also it seems wierd that hairlessness would be David’s take away from a description of a diplodocus, in much the same way that it would be odd for someone to describe a giraffe primarily in terms of it’s spots.

Note too that Dian had never seen a lidi prior to Chapter 15 according to book 1:

> As they drew still nearer we discovered that upon the back of each sat
a human being. Then Dian knew what they were, though she never before
had seen one.

It seems unlikely Dian would describe one creature to a person who had never seen it, in terms of a creature she had never seen. This also implies that the lidi is either famously hairy or the hairless-lidi is famously hairless in some way which emphasizes the fact. (Why else for the name?) (On further reflection maybe not. For refrence, the northern white rhino is not white and as Douglas Adam’s remarks in “Last Chance to See” it is often of a darker hue than other types of rhino. It’s name comes from a mispronunciation/miss-translation from the local name for them which ought to have been translated as “wide rhino” .)


Animal: ???
Close Surface Cousin: ???
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 12
Environment: ???

How we barely escaped the cruel fangs of lions and tigers the size of which would dwarf into pitiful insignificance the greatest felines of the outer world.

Note: It’s safe to assume the tigers he references as Tarags. But we have some passing mention of some sort of dire lion.


Animal: Ryth
Close Surface Cousin: Cave Bear
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 13
Environment: Cave / Mountains / Cliffs

Whatever it was, it was coming slowly toward the entrance of the cave, and now, deep and forbidding, it uttered a low and ominous growl. I waited no longer to dispute possession of the ledge with the thing which owned that voice. The noise had not been loud—I doubt if the Sagoths heard it at all—but the suggestion of latent possibilities behind it was such that I knew it would only emanate from a gigantic and ferocious beast.

At the same time the beast emerged from the cave, so that he and the Sagoths came face to face upon that narrow ledge. The thing was an enormous cave bear, rearing its colossal bulk fully eight feet at the shoulder, while from the tip of its nose to the end of its stubby tail it was fully twelve feet in length. As it sighted the Sagoths it emitted a most frightful roar, and with open mouth charged full upon them. With a cry of terror the foremost gorilla-man turned to escape, but behind him he ran full upon his on-rushing companions.

Later I learned from Ghak, who had finally come to his tribesmen and returned with a party to rescue me, that the ryth, as it is called, pursued the Sagoths until it had exterminated the entire band. Ghak was, of course, positive that I had fallen prey to the terrible creature, which, within Pellucidar, is truly the king of beasts.


Animal: Orthopi
Close Surface Cousin: (??? miniature horses)
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 14
Environment: Common/Everywhere

Then I returned again to the valley for an armful of grasses and on this trip was fortunate enough to knock over an orthopi, the diminutive horse of Pellucidar, a little animal about the size of a fox terrier, which abounds in all parts of the inner world.


Animal: ???
Close Surface Cousin: Antelope
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 14
Environment: Planes/Valley

Dotted over the face of the valley were little clusters of palmlike trees—three or four together as a rule. Beneath these stood antelope, while others grazed in the open, or wandered gracefully to a near-by ford to drink. There were several species of this beautiful animal, the most magnificent somewhat resembling the giant eland of Africa, except that their spiral horns form a complete curve backward over their ears and then forward again beneath them, ending in sharp and formidable points some two feet before the face and above the eyes. In size they remind one of a pure bred Hereford bull, yet they are very agile and fast. The broad yellow bands that stripe the dark roan of their coats made me take them for zebra when I first saw them. All in all they are handsome animals, and added the finishing touch to the strange and lovely landscape that spread before my new home.


Animal: Sadok
Close Surface Cousin: Rhino / Wooly Rhino
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 14
Environment: Planes/Valley

Near the lower end of the valley I passed a number of tapirs, and across the river saw a great sadok, the enormous double-horned progenitor of the modern rhinoceros.


Animal: ???
Close Surface Cousin: Tapir
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 14
Environment: Planes/Valley

Near the lower end of the valley I passed a number of tapirs, and across the river saw a great sadok, the enormous double-horned progenitor of the modern rhinoceros.


Animal: Lidi (as opposed to the hairless Lidi which may or may not be a close cousin.)
Close Surface Cousin: diplodocus
At The Earth’s Core , Chapter 15 ; Pellucidar , Chapter 7
Environment: Lidi Plains

We had barely entered the great plain when we discovered two enormous animals approaching us from a great distance. So far were they that we could not distinguish what manner of beasts they might be, but as they came closer, I saw that they were enormous quadrupeds, eighty or a hundred feet long, with tiny heads perched at the top of very long necks. Their heads must have been quite forty feet from the ground. The beasts moved very slowly—that is their action was slow—but their strides covered such a great distance that in reality they traveled considerably faster than a man walks.

As they drew still nearer we discovered that upon the back of each sat a human being. Then Dian knew what they were, though she never before had seen one.

“They are lidis from the land of the Thorians,” she cried. “Thoria lies at the outer verge of the Land of Awful Shadow. The Thorians alone of all the races of Pellucidar ride the lidi, for nowhere else than beside the dark country are they found.”

Note: As opposed to the hariless lidi. These can be assumed to have hair and therefore are likely mammals.

Note: Wikipedia claims these are supposed to be diplodocus but the existence of the hairless-lidi mentioned in passing really does imply that is incorrect. Unless “hairless” is meant to describe the lidi instead of being a name. Burrough’s writing style and very fluid conventions on naming makes this a bit difficult to suss out. See dyryths versus sea dyryths or the fact that sea-dryths are also known as Tandors of the Sea (implying other types of tandors?). Additionally as the “hairless lidi” was used to explain what a mahar is, in the same breath as a thipdar we can assume something here is amiss: as thipdars are also hairless and diplodocus have little in common with mahars that they also don’t share with thipdars. Ergo the hairless lidi must have some commonality to mahars that diplodocus does not. Therefore we are assuming that “hairless lidi” and “llidi” are two creatures for the time being. The hairless variety may indeed match a 1920s conception of diplodocus.

Note: Burroughs likely is just being inconsistent and it’s showing; but we should err on the side of expanding the universe in more interesting ways imho.

Pellucidar , Chapter 7 removes all doubt

Lidi, by the way, is both the singular and plural form of the noun that describes the huge beasts of bur-den of the Thurians. They are enormous quadrupeds, eighty or a hundred feet long, with very small heads perched at the top of very long, slender necks. Their heads are quite forty feet from the ground. Their gait is slow and deliberate, but so enormous are their strides that, as a matter of fact, they cover the ground quite rapidly.

Perry has told me that they are almost identical with the fossilized remains of the diplodocus of the outer crust’s Jurassic age. I have to take his word for it—and I guess you will, unless you know more of such matters than I.


Animal: Various
Close Surface Cousin: ???
Pellucidar , Chapter 1, Chapter 3
Environment: ???

The second book “Pellucidar” kinda just starts off very quickly with just lists of animals David kills with his gun, with no real description. Some of them repeats some of them new. We will have to expand some of the more interesting ones later. But other than their existence there isn’t much here to mine. A lot of them are not terribly exotic.

Ibex and musk-sheep fell before my good old revolver, so that I lacked not for food in the higher altitudes. The forests and the plains gave plentifully of fruits and wild birds, antelope, aurochsen, and elk.

There were times, too, when faced by a mighty cave bear, a saber-toothed tiger, or huge felis spelaea, black-maned and terrible, even my powerful rifle seemed pitifully inadequate—but fortune favored me so that I passed unscathed through adventures that even the recollection of causes the short hairs to bristle at the nape of my neck.

There were the great cave bears in the timber, and gaunt, lean wolves—huge creatures twice the size of our Canadian timber-wolves. Farther up we were as-sailed by enormous white bears—hungry, devilish fellows, who came roaring across the rough glacier tops at the first glimpse of us, or stalked us stealthily by scent when they had not yet seen us.

The bears looked upon us as easy meat. Only our heavy rifles saved us from prompt extinction. Poor Perry never was a raging lion at heart, and I am convinced that the terrors of that awful period must have caused him poignant mental anguish.


Resumed the last public domain pellucidar book earlier this week. Its really a lot less about the local flora and fauna than the first book. Book two is much more about people and a surprising amount of cartography. Which will be useful later. Will likely start a thread on peoples soon. Just kinda want a holistic strategy before I figure out how to slice and dice there.


Been curious about how that will go. I’ve been researching the world, and from what I’ve found, the representations aren’t great.

By people, do you mean civilized species, or?


Mostly yeah.

Yeah we’re scrubbing a lot. Stuff im not comfortable enough to respin will be dropped completely I wanna finish the second book to make sure ive got a handle on what has both been introduced and is firmly in the public domain.

My plan is to drop any variation on an ape or monkey man entirely. I think this will leave us mostly with tribes of humans, mezops and some sort of unnamed bipadel sheep head thing. Unless he introduces one last thing in the last few chapters.

The tentative plan is to scrub wierd racism/fetishization of native americans entirely on the mezops; and focus more on the fact that thier semi-giants (several heads taller than an average human) who are bizarely good at parkour for their size. Make the sheep-headed people into something people would actually want to play; and figure out which human tribes might have knacks that could be turned into something interesting enough to qualify as a class or a feat or a talent or something.

A lot of gender politics gotta get scrubbed rewritten to.

I like the IDEA of a setting like Pellucidar; but it definitely has to be remixed a bit.


Knew I was going to have to scrub a whole damn lot when the framing story of the first book opened with:

“A white man!” he cried. “May the good Lord be praised! I have been
watching you for hours, hoping against hope that THIS time there would
be a white man. Tell me the date. What year is it?”

There is a large undercurrent of racism and sexism in ERBs stuff. Kinda knew this; I read A Princess of Mars last year. ERB just thinks the most interesting physical trait a person has is the color of their skin. One type of martian might have six arms, but he is still going to describe the damn things in terms of skin color and then directly compare somebody to native americans in an unfavorable way in the next breath.

I get why there is a generation captured by parts of his worlds. But his stories and characterizations are kinda shit.


Kinda wanna do a subversive remix in interactive fiction of a princess of mars; where Jessica Carter a proper virginian lady is rescued by martian Dejah Thoris and the two women eventually become lovers.