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Tripod fish rest on the ocean bottom using three spines originating from the fins.

Tripedalism (from the Latin tri = three + ped = foot) is locomotion by the use of three legs. There are no known species where three legs are standard, although the movement of some macropods such as kangaroos, which can alternate between resting their weight on their muscular tails and their two hind legs, may be an example of tripedal locomotion in animals. There are also the tripod fish. Several species of these fish rest on the ocean bottom on two rays from its two pelvic fins and one ray from its caudal fin.[1]

Tripedalism contrasts with the common bipedalism of two-legged animals and quadrupedalism of four-legged animals.

Quadrupedal amputees and mutations[edit]

There are however some three-legged creatures in the world today, namely four-legged animals (such as pet dogs and cats) who have had one limb amputated. With proper medical treatment most of these injured animals can go on to live fairly normal lives, despite being artificially tripedal. There are also cases of mutations or birth abnormalities in animals (including humans) which have resulted in three legs.[citation needed]

Mythological tripedals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ oceancontent (6 February 2009). "Tripod Fish". Retrieved 29 September 2016 – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ Illustrated research essay Three-Legged Animals in Mythology and Folklore