Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Edition
Since 1996 ~ 10,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 3150

World at the Earth's Center
by Sean Phillips

Pellucidar, the greatest of Burroughs' Lost Worlds, is a primeval realm within the Earth's hollow center. A miniature sun hangs suspended within this center, shedding endless light. Pellucidar's land area is roughly in the position of the surface world's oceans, and vice versa, giving it a far greater land surface. Because of its timeless nature, and vast surface, myriad creatures from all the ages of the Earth's prehistory swarm throughout this land. And not one, but many sentient races have evolved within Pellucidar, possibly because of the absence of the waves of mass extinction that have elapsed on the surface of the earth.

Beasts of Pellucidar


The tandor is the mighty woolly mammoth of the ice age, the great shaggy progenitor of the elephant armed with gigantic swirling ivory tusks. The below scene, done in ink by Frazetta, depicts a scene of raw primal fury from both Tarzan at the Earth's Core, and Back to the Stone Age where a ravening tarag pack brings down a bull mammoth. The great bull tandor is a magnificent picture of primal, indomitable power as he battles them his final breath.

The mammoth is significant in Back to the Stone Age as von Horst befriends a wise old mammoth known to the locals as old white” from the white patch on his side. von Horst rescues the mammoth from a slow agonizing death. In gratitude, Old White comes to his human friend's aide when von Horst is captured by the Mammoth Men, and again when he fights against the Ganak Bison Men, a race of humanoid bovines. The Mammoth Men, by the way, were a human tribe who learned to train and ride the mighty tandor as war mounts. This made the Mammoth Men a terror to the other tribes.


The Tarag is the great saber-tooth tiger of the stone age. They are present throughout the Pellucidar series. The largest saber-tooth species known from the fossil record was Smilodon Fatalis of South America, larger then the modern Siberian tiger, and considerably more massive in build. It was thought to have been able to bring down mastodons and giant ground sloths that shared its world. Burroughs greatly inflates the animal's size, making them close to the size of a buffalo, and the length of their saber fangs (actually just over nine inches) to eighteen! The tarag of Pellucidar is gorgeously striped with gold and the glossy black of anthracite coal.

David Innes’ first encounter of a tarag is in the death arena of the Mahar City of Phutra, where it was pitted against thag, the giant aurochs of primeval Europe. The two monsters ignore their intended human victims and battle each other to the death in terrific fury. In “Pellucidar”, the second book in the series, David and Dian are the two intended victims, pitted in the arena against a mammoth tarag. Tu-ul-sa, the Mahar whose life Innes spared, dispatches three great thipdars, “the flying reptiles that guard the queen” to carry the tarag out of the arena, saving the lives of Innes and his mate. Tarags are sometimes encountered alone, but occasionally band into vast packs of over a hundred or more members. These packs are able to fell the largest of the inner-earth herbivora. Interestingly enough, scientists now believe that some species of saber-tooth, notably S. Fatalis, may actually have hunted gregariously, in order to bring down difficult prey.


This is a huge plated monster of Pellucidar, described in Tarzan at the Earth's Core. It most closely resembles the stegosaurus, the species with which it may be identical, though some ERB-philes have suggested otherwise, because of the creature's apparent carnivorous habits, and extraordinary gliding ability. The huge, cartilaginous plates sported by the reptile enable it to become airborne if it leaps off a high precipice.


Megatherium, the giant ground sloth of the Pleistocene, a huge, shaggy beast the size of an elephant. Burroughs describes the dyryth as having a short trunk not unlike that of a tapir. The ground sloth of the surface is not known to have had one, though the marsupial “ground sloth” of South America did possess such a trunk, and somewhat resembled the dyryth.


The giant cave-bear of the ice-age. This shaggy monster ranged over the Eurasian taiga, south of the great ice -sheets, on the outer crust. Its scientific name was Ursus Spaleaus. Larger than any modern ursine, it was actually more herbivorous than its modern cousins, and was likely not very fierce at all. Not so the giant short faced bear of North America—this beast was not only larger even than its European counterpart, it was long-limbed, fast, and strict flesh eater—and able to fell a moose with a single swipe of its gigantic paw.

Burroughs only describes the better known cave bear, however, and as with the tarag, he greatly inflated the animal's size for dramatic purposes. The lowland ryths were about the size of an ox; the ones living in Pellucidar's mountain ranges, far above timberline were white-furred and gigantic—fully the size of a bull elephant!


The Sithic is a labrinthadon, a giant, carnivorous amphibian of monstrous size, which David Innes encounters on his first venture to Pellucidar in At the Earth's Core. It inhabited the outer crust during the Permian and Triassic eras. Actually, huge labrinthadon amphibians continued to linger on through the age of dinosaurs in the southern polar swamps. But these later animals, such as Koolasuchus, had jaws that were less crocodile-like than their ancestors. The sithic, sporting a toad-like body, and mighty crocodilian-style jaws, most resembles the original labrinthadon. Some illustrators, like in the Frazetta illustration below, and in the Mike Grell-illustrated Tarzan: the Savage Heart, published by Dark Horse, incorrectly show the sithic as being scaled and resembling a huge alligator. The true labyrinthodon, both described by Burroughs, and by paleontologists, had a wet, moist, pulpy hide, like any other amphibian.


Jalok are hyeanodons of the Eocene, dog-like carnivores found throughout the inner earth. Burroughs describes them as ancestral to modern canines. There are two Manning comics -- one Pal-ul-don strip, and an issue of the Dell comic in which Tarzan explores a hidden plateau where extinct mammals still roam -- where they are simply huge (prehistoric) hyenas. Actually, these beasts were related to neither hyenas nor wolves, (though they somewhat resembled both in appearance and habits) but were members of the creodonta, and group of flesh eaters, that were related to no modern carnivore.


The Thipdar is the gigantic pteranodon of the Cretaceous age, and the most feared predator of Pellucidar's skies. One thing notable about thipars is that they are used as pets and guard animals by the Mahars, Pellucidar's formerly dominant race. This may be because both Mahars and Thipdars are related, but pteranodons are still of animal intelligence within Pellucidar, and belong to the pterodactyl order of the pterasauia, rather than the rhamphorinchids, to which the Mahar belong. The Mahar ruler Tu-ul-sa uses them to rescue David Innes and Dian the Beautiful for the a giant tarag in the amphitheater of death. Perhaps the most memorable thipdar scene occurs in Tarzan at the Earth's Core, in which the Ape Man finds himself borne off in the talons of a female thipdar, and nearly tossed into a gigantic nest among her squealing brood. Variants have this scene have appeared on the Filmation cartoon adaptation of the novel, Lin Carter's Zanthodon series (itself a Pellucidar take-off), the Raquel Welch 60s’ cult film One Million Years B. C., the Ka-Zar the savage comic book series, and elsewhere.

Again Burroughs takes some liberties with the animal's size. He describes the wingspan as about twenty-five feet, but pterosaurs were so light weight, they would not be able to bear off any human-sized creature. An even larger pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus, whose wingspan measured fifty some feet, would, in fact been able to carry off human-sized prey, but it was unknown when Burroughs wrote his stories. He also describes pteranodons as having teeth, when in fact, the name “pteranodon” translates from the Latin as “wing-toothless”. One lesser-known detail is that female pteranodons lacked headcrests, but this, too, was unknown in Burroughs’ time. Comics art veteran Russ Manning, writer of some of the finest newspaper strips featuring the Ape-Man, has one character exclaim, on one of Tarzan's syndicated forays into Pellucidar, that the pteranodons that attack the 0-220 are “huge -- much bigger than any that ever lived on the Earths’ surface”. In Burroughs’ fictional universe, however, it appears that some members of this same species did reach approximate size. We know from The Eternal Savage, when a gigantic pteranodon bears off Nat-ul to her nest, yet another variant on the dramatic scene pictured below.


The zarith is the tyrannosaurus rex of Pellucidar, most dreaded and terrible of all terrestrial carnivores. It is only encountered once within the series, in Back to the Stone Age, when von Horst and La-Ja encounter a juvenile specimen the Forest of Death, about to devour a Gorbus, a member of a weird, cruel, albino race. von Horst is able to kill the beast. La-Ja informs him that adult zarith feed on the giant Bos, the aurochs, and on the mighty mammoth. Possibly zarith are rare, and seldom encountered, since too great a number would lay waste to the prey species. Unlike the thipdar, and most wildlife of the Earth's Core, the Pellucidaran t-rex is often misnamed in pastiches, such as John Eric Holmes’ Mahars of Pellucidar (where it is called a “dryath”), and in the Filmation TV series (where it is called a “zabor”), possibly since it is barely mentioned in the series. The Dark Horse publication “Tales of Pellucidar” drawn by Thomas Yeates, and otherwise a decent effort, refers to the T-rex of Pellucidar as a “Garth”, which is a Pal-ul-don term from the comics, and not even authentic Burroughs. The Pal-ul-donian term “gryf” is used for the triceratops in the same story. Only the Dyrodor (stegosaurus) is named correctly. The first inconsistency could be explained away in that Tarzan had not encountered a T-rex in Pellucidar until now, and used the more familiar Pal-ul-don term instead. He should have known to use the Pellucidaran “Gyor” for triceratops however, as he did indeed encounter one on his first venture to the inner world.


The triceratops of the inner earth. This beast, as Tarzan notes, is strikingly similar to the Gryf of Pal-ul-don. Though possessed of a terrible temper however, the gyor is an herbivore, unlike its evolved Pal-ul-don counterpart on the surface. It is also similarly marked, though much lass brilliant in coloration. It is possibly a form of triceratops virtually unaltered since its original form.

The gyros roam the mighty plain known as the Gyor Cors in vast horns. The Horib lizard-men relish the flesh of the three-horned beasts, and often hunt them on their Gorobor mounts, lassoing and subduing the triceratops with strong ropes.


The huge bull aurochs of Pellucidar, known scientifically as the Bos Primenigus. This creature was the giant ancestor of modern cattle. Herds of aurochs ranged throughout the great broadleaf forests of Europe from the last ice age, up until early historical times. The last few died out with the coming of the industrial revolution. One of the most memorable scene involving a thag in the Pellucidar series takes place in At the Earth's Core, in which a tarag and a thag battle to the death in the Mahar arena. Another such scene between predator and prey occurs early in Tarzan at the Earth's Core.


Referred to as the giant “two-horned” rhinoceros, the sadok is mentioned occasionally in At the Earth's Core. Just what species it represents is not clear. It may refer to the Pleistocene woolly rhino, Coleodonta, as some have suggested, making it the same species as “Ta” the woolly rhino from The Eternal Savage. But not only is this species two horned, but so are the two modern species of African rhino. The Burroughs Encyclopedia identifies the sadok with the brontotherium, a huge titanothere of the Oligocne. Male members of this species had a single horn that branched into a Y shape. It is probably the most likely candidate for the sadok, and the Clark A, Brady’s Burroughs Cyclopedia cites it as such. However, there was another mammal of the late Eocene that is a possible candidate. This is the mighty arsinotherium of lower Egypt. This beast also resembled a large rhinoceros, but sported two massive horns, not one in front of the other as in its modern counterparts, but side by side on its broad snout.


The giant diplodocus of Pellucidar, a giant sauropod dinosaur related to the better-known brontosaurus. Burroughs describes it as a plains-dwelling animal. The human tribes of thuria have learned to domesticate the plains lidi as formidable war mounts.


Giant lizard-like reptiles which serve as steeds to the reptilian Horibs. They are as lightning-fast as their smaller counterparts, and fastest thing within the inner earth. They are similar to the herbivorous cotlyosaurs of the lower Permian, with which they may well be synonymous.


This term refer to a giant marine reptile of Pellucidar's oceans. Its name translates to “sea sloth” or “sea megatherium”. Though the animals in the Manning illustration below are without question some form of plesiosaur, the azdyryth is most accurately identified with the ichthyosaurus, a great fish-like marine lizard, with mighty, elongated jaws bristling with teeth.


This is the name given to the plesiosaur, the sea-mammoth of Pellucidar's oceanic realms. It is describes as having a long neck, and a seal-like body.

Actually ,the name of the monsters above would translate roughly as “sea bear”, a name not precisely used by Burroughs himself. There existed on the outer surface several species of plesiosaur after all, the largest being the elasmosaurus, the species with which the tandoraz may be identified.


The “sea-lion” of Pellucidar, a monster that, from the descriptions appears to be yet another species of plesiosaur, albeit one smaller, though no less ferocious than the tandoraz.


Another ferocious marine denizen, this reptile's surface counterpart has not been officially recognized.


This was one of the most feared predatory reptiles of the upper Cretaceous period. Burroughs does not relate the native term for this reptile, though it is possibly synonymous with the aztarag.


This is one last reptilian monster known to be indigenous to Pellucidar's seas. This is a serpentine creature David Innes rescues Ja the Mezop from in the first book, and in the St. John illustration below, merely referred to as a “hydrophidian”. No scientific or Pellucidaran term is used to identify it. It is snake-like in from, with small horn-like protuberances over each eye, a jetting, forked tongue, and goggling eyes. It may or may not have had a surface counterpart in prehistoric times.


The giant dire wolf of the Pleistocene. These pony –sized wolves are huge enough to overtake most prey single –handed, and only hunt the giant tandor in packs.


The diminutive ancestor of the modern horse, known to science as the eohippus or hyracotherium. It lived during the Eocene period, shortly after the demise of the dinosaurs.


The phorohacas, huge predatory bird of Miocene S. America that was over ten feet tall, with a mighty eagle-hooked bill, and powerful legs that made it near impossible to outrun. Tarzan and his companion Tar-Gash (a sagoth) battle and slay one in Tarzan at the Earth's Core. The dyal is used as steed by some Pellucidaran tribes, even though it is ferocious and difficult to train. In the comic illustration below, Tarzan battles a tribe of Pellucidaran purple skinned cannibals who use dyals as war mounts.


Mere mention is made of this flying reptile, which Burroughs says is a “smaller cousin of the thipdar”. Dimorphodon lived during the Triassic age, the first era of dinosaurs, on the surface, and was one of the more primitive pterosaurs


This is a huge, elephant sized herbivorous “duck-billed” dinosaur of the late Cretaceous. Though innumerable species of reptilian life make the Phelian Swamp their home, this animal is the only one given direct mention, as it is seen being devoured by one of the titanic serpents which infest the region. It is more correctly known to science as the anatosaurus. Like the dimophodon, it is not revealed what the native term for this beast is.


Snakes of overwhelming proportions infest the Phelian swamp, where they apparently exist at the pinnacle of the food chain. Some grow large enough to swallow adult dinosaurs of good-sized species. No serpent of the outer crust is known to have attained such colossal proportions. Though giant serpents did exist during the Cretaceous, the largest was only a little bigger than the largest living snake today, the anaconda.


This is an entirely fictitious monster, as Burroughs himself admits when he tells us that its restoration was never in any book, its skeleton never in any museum. Perhaps it is entirely Pellucidaran in origin, or perhaps it is one species whose surface counterpart will remain undiscovered. The trodon is somewhat pterosaurian, having a head that is “pterodactyl-like”, and mighty leathern wings. Its’ body, however, somewhat resembles a gigantic winged kangaroo, with powerful rear legs, and a massive tail. Its forearms are separate from the wings, and with them the trodon can easily grasp its prey. It also has a pouch with which it transports its victims (and perhaps its young, after they hatch?). Burroughs refers to the Trodon as a “giant marsupial reptile”, though technically this is impossible, since the marsupial reproductive system is strictly mammalian. The trodon paralyzes its victims’ nervous system with its barbed tongue. The victims are then left in the adult trodons rookery until the eggs hatch, and the young trodons devour their screaming victims alive.


This is the mighty cave-lion of Pellucidar. Scientist believe that the cave lion of the ice age to be the largest cat that ever lived, bigger even than Smilodon Fatalis. From cave –renderings of the animals discovered in Europe, it is almost certain that adult male cave-lions lacked manes.

In The Eternal Savage, Burroughs incorrectly describes a cave lioness as being “maned like her lord”. One inner earth tribe has learned to domesticate the ta-ho as companions and hunting animal, as two other tribes have done with the jalok and the tarag, respectfully.

The Mike Grell illustration from the dark Horse comic series “The Savage Heart”, depicts a cave-lion accurately, without a mane.

Hyena Spelea

This is the giant cave hyena of ice age Europe, which grew larger than a modern African lion. The native name for this animal is unknown.


This is a huge elephantine creature with mighty downward curving tusks, which lived on the earths’ surface during the Miocene. It is one of the few innumerable Pellucidaran herbivorous mammals mentioned directly in both Tarzan at the Earth's Core, and Back to the Stone Age. Its Pellucidaran name is unknown.


There innumerable species within Pellucidar. Burroughs describes the most beautiful in At the Earth's Core, as having backward spiraling horns, and a gorgeous striped coat, patterned in the manner of the zebra.


The mighty mastodon of Pellucidar, a beast somewhat smaller than the tandor, with a flat head rather than a high-domed skull.


A primitive “dinosaur-bird” of the Lower Jurassic, having teeth, and hooked-claws on its wings. The claw-winged avians, described once in Tarzan at the Earth's Core were doubtless of this species, or one of the related reptile-birds discovered by paleontologists in recent times.

Giant Ants

Gargantuan “prehistoric” ants are also native to the inner earth. They thrive in vast, underground colonies, and grow huge enough to carry off humans to feed their larvae. They are purely a Burroguhsian invention.

Ant Bear

A colossal edentate mammal which feed on the giant ants, possibly a relative of dyryth. No such animal ever existed on the surface.

Others . . .

Doubtless, many other animals swarm though this lost world at the center of the earth, as Pellucidar is a vast melting pot from all the ages of prehistory. John Eric Holmes, in his two Pellucidar pastiches Mahars of Pellucidar, and Red Ax of Pellucidar, describes other, though he does not invent Pellucidar names for any of them. There are a herd of elephant-like beasts in the first book, which sport great protruding lower jaws, and are swamp dweller. These are doubtless shovel-tuskers. He also describes a triceratops in the same book as having a much more colorful face than the “gyor” in Burroughs own version. He also incorrectly calls a tyrannosaurus (zarith) a “dryath”, and uses the term “gryf”(the name of the Pal-ul-donian triceratops), as a general term meaning “giant reptile”. He has the natives describe the brontosaurs in the next book as lidi, which is fairly accurate, since the species brontosaurus and diplodocus are virtually identical, and might well go by the same name. Other beasts in Red Ax include knobby-horned rhino-like beasts that are certainly uintotheres, and sail-bake reptiles that neatly fit the description of dimetrodon, a finback Permian reptile. Holms makes the dimetrodons semi-aquatic predators utilizes their fins as sailing apparatus. The fin is actually believed to have acted as temperature regulator, but their have been other ideas as well. Holmes’ visualization of their purpose is at least as inventive (and way more plausible) than Burroughs own for the dyrodor’s plates! Mention is also made of the “Brontotherium and the Balucotherium” of the plains. The Jusko illustration above depicts a “prehistoric octopus”, as one of the terrible denizens of Pellucidar's oceans.

Races of Pellucidar


The Mahars are the formally dominant race within the hollow earth. They are super-intelligent pterosaurs descended from rhamphorynchus of the Jurassic. On the surface, the rhamphorynchus grew to no larger than a crow, and were unintelligent. But due to some freak of Pellucidar's evolutionary chain, here they developed vast intellect and stupefying mental powers. Mahars are totally deaf, and communicate telepathically among one another, and to their servants the sagoths. They are also deaf, but have developed a form of “musical” entertainment based on motion. They often use a related species, the giant thipdars, as bloodhounds to chase down escaped slaves, and guard animals. They use humans (gilaks) for their scientific experiments, and also to serve as Mahar food, though eating any kind of mammal is considered taboo, and not done by “respectable” members of the species. Humans intended to serve this purpose are taken to a Mahar “temple”, where they are imprisoned on islands surrounded by water, not unlike an aquatic zoo exhibit. When a Mahar singles out a human as victim, she fastens her gaze on him/her, and lures the mesmerized victim into the water to be devoured. Mahars, unlike their Jurassic ancestors are able not only to fly but to swim as well as a seal. Mahars are also a race entirely made up of females. Somewhere along their journey to dominance, Mahar scientists learned to fertilize their eggs chemically, eliminating the need for males. The details of the method of procreation are not given in the series, but Alan Gross, in his novel Farewell Pellucidar, includes a male Mahar who is no less intelligent, but is no larger than his Jurassic counterparts! The idea of this extreme sexual dimorphism among the Mahar is an interesting twist. Though perhaps some male members of the Mahar race do exist in some far off regions of the inner world, none is ever encountered in any of the novels penned by Burroughs himself. I wrote a Pellucidar pastiche some years ago, which still being serialized in Frank Westwood's zine Fantastic World of Edgar Rice Burroughs that also features a male Mahar, only I made the male of the species even larger than the female. Sometimes pastiches contradict one another. I did not know at the time that the Gross novel existed, or I would have tried to make it consistent. Actually, Mr. Gross's version is the more logical, as females among reptiles tend to be larger. Mahars have been depicted many times, with varying degrees of accuracy. Among the worst are the amnion- costume examples in the film version of At the Earth's Core. Close to this are the Mahars in the “Blood Money and Human Bondage” series of stories in Marvel Comics' version of Tarzan. These only faintly resemble their counterparts from the fossil record, and are too humanoid. This version also features both male and female members of Mahar species, but this is clearly a mistake on the authors’ part. The last surviving Mahars have evidently established a colony on Pellucidar's moon, the Dead World. The Mahar scientists, who are depicted as male, have invented a bizarre weapon called the “sound canon” with which they hope to retake Pellucidar. This version quickly came under fire from Burroughs enthusiasts because of the numerous errors. The authors seemed to have forgotten that the Mahar race is deaf dumb and all female. Then there are the “Mahars” of the recent tarzan television series.

NOTE: I did not see these, and really can't comment accurately, but from other sources I've gleaned that the Mahars do not resemble those in the Pellucidar series at all, and are able to morph at will into attractive human females. In the Russ Manning Pellucidar stories, the Mahars are identical in appearance to the reptiles of Burroughs novel, and resemble outsize rhamphorynchus.

In one strip sequence from Manning's dailies, he has the Mahar that David Innes mistakenly took with him to the surface escapes and is at large in Tarzan's Africa. Innes believes that he takes the Mahar back with him, but it is explained that he only takes an illusion that the Mahar placed in his mind. This, of course, is at odds with Burroughs own version, in which the Mahar Innes liberates (whose name is Tu-ul-sa) later spares his life in the arena. Seeking refuge in some ancient ruins the deepest darkest region of the Congo. She recruits human “friends” to serve her. A fanatical cult develops around the Mahar by the mesmerized humans. Any humans who disobey, or are able to resist her hypnotic mental powers, are taken to a feeding pool for the Mahar to devour. It takes the Ape-man himself to finally subdue the creature and free the cultists. This opens up a whole other sequence, in which Tarzan and Korak return the Mahar to her rightful home, and thus embark and another adventure within the hollow earth. Frank Frazetta's illustrations of Mahars, while among the best, are far less accurate than those of Manning. The head of the Mahar in one of the pictures below does not resemble its Jurassic counterpart. His pictures of the Mahars mesmerizing their victims are too human-like. The Dark Horse comics series “Tarzan vs. Predator at the Earth's Core” also featured a Mahar. The book is well-drawn, and well-scripted (more so than most of their other Burroughs stories), but the artist seemed to have followed Frazetta's influence more than Manning's. The Mahar does look a bit more pterosaur-like than Frazetta's though, as it should.


Sagoths are a race of savage gorilla-men. They serve as slavers to the Mahars.


Horibs, called lizard-men or snake- men, are a grotesque race of humanoid reptilians descended from lizards or lizard-like reptiles. They are cold-blooded, and never cease to grow while living. One specimen is cited as being well over seven feet tall. Horibs capture humans and other warm-bloods as food for their newly hatched young.

Horibs dwell in vast swamps, and lay their eggs in mud. They are humanoid in form with heads resembling a snakes or lizards, and sport a pair of short horns. Eerily, they speak the same tongue as gilaks, the humans of Pellucidar with a sibilant hiss.

Their mounts are the lizard-like gorobors, the swiftest beast in the inner earth. The relish the flesh of the Gyor or triceratops, as a delicacy.


The Ganaks, or Bison-men, are a race of humanoid bovines. Like their ancestors, they are herbivorous, though the sometimes capture human for their cruel sacrificial rites. they brew a liquor called “dancing water” for use in these rituals.


The Gorbuses are a human-like race with white hair, milky-white skin, and large pink eyes with red albino pupils. They also sport tusk-like fangs with curve up from their lower jaws. They are a cannibalistic race who inhabit the Forest of Death. It is because of the Gorbus that the forest bears this name, as they capture any humans who venture within. The gorbus also share some mysterious tie with the surface world. They suffer from visions of a previous life in which they have all killed something, and have fleeting visions that could only pertain to life outside Pellucidar, but the origins of this mysterious race are never revealed.


The Coripies, or “Buried People”, are perhaps the most gruesome race to have evolved within Pellucidar. They are an underground race native to the island of Amicop, apparently descended from surface dwellers. They are humanoid in form, but lack any discernible facial features. They are totally blind, and skin covers their eyes, which roll grotesquely beneath the covering membrane. They have heavy fangs and webbed talons, with which they tear apart their prey. This usually consists of cave fish , toads and lizards, but they relish the flesh of other warm-bloods as a break from this.


The beast men are a savage, though vegetarian, race that inhabit the island named Indiana by Innes. Their faces resemble a cross between a sheep and a gorilla.

They live a peaceful existence on the island under chiefdom of Gr-gr-gr. They harm only intruders they feel threatened by, and basically only want to be left alone.

In the dark Horse comic series, The Savage Heart, writer Alan gross has Tarzan encounter the tribe of Gr-gr-gr. Artist Mike Grell does a good job of rendering them, though the sheep-like aspect of them seems absent, and would indeed be very difficult to depict. Gross reveals that the Beast-Men, like other sentient primate species in Burroughs universe, share certain characteristics with the mangani, or Great Apes. For example, they share the ritual known as the Dum-Dum, and males battle personal combat to establish chiefdom.


These are mostly akin to monkeys than apes, being humanoid in form, but sporting long pendulous tails. They quite hairless, with glossy black skins. They somewhat resemble the tailed races of the lost land of Pal-ul-don, on the surface. They live high in tree-top villages, and sometimes take humans as captive.

Saber-Tooth Men

These are similar to the Ape-Men, and possibly related to them. being also hairless and black-skinned, and with long prehensile tails. These, however, often capture and devour any gilaks they capture. Unlike the Ape-Men, Saber-tooths sport a pair of saber-fangs extending from their upper jaw.

Others . . .

It is quite likely that, had Burroughs continued the series, more races would be found thriving in the far-off vastness of the inner world. Pelludicar's land-surface, after all was nearly double the lad area of the surface. There are some new races that have shown up in the pastiches. For example, in Alan Gross's Farewell Pellucidar, there is an aquatic race of beaver-like humanoids, who inhabit dam-like “villages” in Pellucidar's rivers. These beings are covered with a sleek coat of waterproof fur, and have large, flat tails. They feed on other aquatic animals such as the fresh-water plesiosaur, and often use live-baits, which sometimes includes humans. In Andy Nunez's pastiche The Moon Maid at the Earth's Core, reveals a race of humans who have a fairly advanced technology, and who inhabit Pellucidar's moon. The moon maid of the title is named “Ee-lah-nah”, almost a reverse spelling of “Nah-ee-lah”, the heroine of Burroughs own novel, The Moon Maid! Incidentally, it is quite likely that, in Burroughs universe, that Pellucidar's moon would have been inhabited as well, but by what manner of being one can only speculate.

In William Gilmore's Pellucidar pastiche, published in the 1971 issue of "the Burroughs Bulletin", explorers to Pellucidar encounter another weird race inhabiting the Dead World (I forget their name). They are a race of short, squat, apish beings, rather like dwarf orangutans, and covered in orangish hair. Due to the gravitational pull of the central sun, the moon's inhabitants, are "frozen", during the days, and active only when the land is in shadow. The moon is also inhabited by a race of humans as well, and these are preyed upon by the cannabilistic ape-like race. One thing missing in this story is a native princess for one of the main characters to fall in love with, even though one of the Jeff Jones illustrations shows a curvaceous girl as one of the the captives. The lunar humans are dealt with only sparingly in this novel, although the Dead World, and its physics are greatly elaborated upon. It is a shame Burroughs himself never took up the question. In the Marvel comics series, in which the Dead World serves as a last refuge for the Mahar race, there appears to exist there a squat, humanoid reptilian race who act as servitors to the Mahars, but this is never explored in detail. In the Russ manning strips, the moon is also shown as a place of refuge for the Mahar race. The moon is hollow with a crystalline center in the Manning version, and the reptiles use the crystals to augment their collective mental powers to cause havoc on the earth's surface. 

This article is mirrored from Sean Phillips' ERB Blog at:


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