Furry

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A furry is the colloquial term for a member of a particular category of fictional anthropomorphic animal. Put simply, a furry is a funny animal taken seriously. Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, and Mickey Mouse are funny animals; they are anthropomorphic, mostly behave like people, and are pretty much the cartoon equivalent of character actors. On the other hand Usagi Yojimbo, Omaha the Cat Dancer, and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are furries (even though turtles don't have fur). They are generally more "realistic" in appearance than the funny animals are, and behave more like crosses between humans and animals. They are sapient, and just as much "people" as any fictional character, but they aren't presented as animals for laughs. For example, the rabbit characters in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down are sapient and talk to each other, but their behaviour and psychology is very closely derived from that observed in real-life rabbits. Other furries are not so closely tied to their animal sides, but there is always serious consideration of it to some degree or another. Andre Norton's Breed to Come and Steven Boyett's The Architect of Sleep are other examples of novels featuring furries.

The term "morph" is also used for furries, short for "anthropomorph." The name of the animal the furry is based on is often prepended, for example rabbitmorph or lionmorph, to provide a more specific description. "Morphic rabbit" or "morphic lion" is yet another way to describe such creactures.

Furry creatures are often found in games, especially role playing games and computer games. Examples include the race of humanoid ducks found in the role-playing game RuneQuest and the races found in the Sonic the Hedgehog video games.

The term "furry" is also used to in reference to the fans of furries, as described above. Furry fandom has a large presence on the Internet, and many furry conventions are held across North America every year. Much furry interest centers on artistic representations, often cartoon-like, of furry creatures; Yerf is one Web repository of furry art. Mature, adult, or otherwise pornographic furry art is also known as yiff.

See also Ernest Shepard, the original Winnie the Pooh illustrator.

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