Original species of furry fandom: an overview.
by Rune AngelDragon
Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. It also covers furry issues and media plus some personal blogging. Rune joins other guest posters to Dogpatch Press like Andre Kon (What’s Yiffin’?) and Arrkay (Culturally F’d). Welcome Rune! – Patch
“Volcanic Bonding” – Art & Leothaun species by thelostcause86
Masika belongs to MasikaRayne (FA) / Thyra belongs to shewulf7
Creativity has always been the highest focus of the Furry fandom outside of the love for anthropromorphic animals. That is to say that creativity is what keeps pushing the fandom forward whether it be art, music, crafting, or something else entirely. One of the amazing things that creativity has brought us within the fandom is the emergence of original species.
Why be a dog when you could be a RaptorDog? Why be a regular ‘ol rabbit, when you could be a Bunninut?
It sounds crazy when you say it out loud, but these are actual species imagined by people within the community! Some create more of a stir than others… and in fact, most people know of a few original species that overwhelm the fandom today due to their popularity! For example: Primagen/Protogens, and Dutch Angel Dragons. These species don’t exist in the world that we know, they were brainstormed and brought to life by individuals that wanted something different and something more. Sergals are another example of a popular original species that was shown to the community and changed it forever.
“Leo Friends”- Art & Leothaun species by thelostcause86 (FA)
(left) Masika belongs to MasikaRayne (FA) / (center) Thyra belongs to shewulf7 (FA)/ (right) Natalia belongs to thelostcause86 (FA)
So, what makes an original species?
Making an original species is a lot more complicated than it might sound. You can’t just slap two or more things together and call it “original” – that’s just a hybrid (and don’t worry, the community will correct you if you try). Original species are deeper than just a mix of animal parts – they require some sort of history, lore, or even a whole world. There has to be something that sets them apart as rare or unique.
For instance: Take the Mecari.
The Mecari are a creation of Craig Aimes (Blackpawwolf on FA – and Founder of CCSMascots) and on the outside, they seem just like a bat/dog hybrid (but are bat, dog, and bovine to be precise). Still, these little guys are not just the average hybrid. They are a species rich in culture and their own way of living. Not all the info has been released yet (it is being developed and released in chunks), but the Mecari do reside in a particular universe with other original creatures. They live very social lives with one another, and take on more tribal characteristics – from coming-of-age ceremonies, to other sorts of rituals they perform. Recently it was announced that each Mecari gets a power over a single element. Upcoming info will include things like family structures. Even their diet is outlined, and the colors of their eyes have a history.
I could go on forever… so I think you get the gist of it. I have owned a Mecari for a while (with a partial suit being finished this later in 2017) and I act as an Admin of the Mecari Den. They are so much more than slapping together some parts and a name. They hold a story as an original species.
Another great example of this would be the species known as the Leothaun. As a proud owner of a Tempest Leothaun named Masika, and as Admin of the Leothaun page, I could ramble on forever about why this species is absolutely amazing.
Leothaun were created by Natalia Hardy (thelostcause86 on FA) and they reside on a planet known as Qualdralis. This planet has a lore deep in religious background, where there was a Goddess and the Light Bringers, and the first Leothaun stepped onto the planet. As time went on, the Leothaun evolved. Each type mutated to fit their environment (the biome they were residing in at the time), leaving us with several different sub-types of Leothaun, all with different characteristics. These guys are DETAILED!
Natalia went all-out when developing the Leothaun. She has charts on differences between the sub-types and how each gender develops per its sub-type. The height, life-span, special powers, and even the specific and rare mutations each sub-type can have is listed in very detailed charts.
As mentioned before, I own a Tempest Leothaun. Their specific trait is either controlling the wind, controlling lightning, neither or even both! I was given the opportunity to have a ‘rare’ Leothaun. My gal Masika has two genetic defects that makes her stand out. She has the glowing/blank eyes, and secondly, her spot pattern is rare and sets her apart from the common Tempest.
Recently I was informed that the Tempest Leothaun are getting a third mutation they may have, which is wings. This has not been completely fleshed out yet, but it makes sense since the Tempest Leothaun reside in a city that is floating in the sky.
My wife was also given a rare Leothaun by the creator – a Volcano Leothaun named Thyra. Thyra’s rare mutation is that the blood running through her glows blue, rather than the normal magma-orange-yellow color that Volcano Leothaun normally get. The females of this sub-type are taller than the males. There are many interesting facts about them, but in terms of anatomy, Natalia said she took inspiration from a lot of different animals. They can sometimes have canid faces but most resemble big cats. A few of the aquatic ones look more like otters, and their retractable fangs are inspired by snakes. So the Leothaun is an original species that is mixed, but more spread out to be unique, and it also has the rich story and history.
Cheshire the Mecari
Art by flamesvoices (FA) / Species created by Blackpawwolf (FA)
Cheshire belongs to: MecariCheshire (FA)
What makes an original species popular or unpopular?
There are a LOT of original species out there. I couldn’t possibly begin to list them all. It begs the question: What makes an original species take off? How does an original species get as popular as a Dutch Angel Dragon or Sergal? Why haven’t I heard of so many species?
Many original species are unknown because they tend to flop… even those that get a lot of hype tend to fall off the radar rather quickly. Some species are mimics of other species with very few differences, making them rather unpopular (and they get a lot of backlash from the community). A lot of it is based in how hard a creator works to build up a decent community.
Those are some factors in whether an original species will fail or succeed.
For a few examples, I made 3 species of my own which I thought (at the time) were amazing. There were the Graul, the Nintius Lupus, and the Bunninuts. They all had a history, lore, and guidelines for their looks and what set them apart. I even made Facebook groups for them! People came into the groups, but no one posted or made their own creature, and soon the groups died without taking off. Why? Because people need a starting point.
It wasn’t enough to give them a creature with a lore and say: “Here it is. Now make one! Enjoy!”
People are looking for an active creator that really wants these species to take off. I’m talking about making a Facebook group with an official banner, setting up Admins, giving out free bases for people to color, raffling off adopts, making adopts, and letting other people make adopts. An original species eventually will become a sort of business where advertising is the key to success. You want people to have fun and spread the word around.
While it may seem a bit rude to say: furries can be cheap. They will jump on a free base much faster than if they have to pay for a custom creature. Also, if you don’t let them make adopts for profit, it will dissuade a good few. But no one blames you for having rules and wanting to keep your species controlled. Still, you have to be willing to be a little open with a species if you want it to succeed. I have also found that digital art will always do better than traditional art… and again, this kinda goes into making bases for people to use. Getting people that you know involved and having them rep your species to gain attention will help significantly. I know several species that started out with just a few friends having one, and now it is a whole community… and whether popular or not, these things still tend to thrive in one way or another.
For the people that mimic other species and/or make hybrids of species that don’t allow hybrids… those never go over well. Because an original species comes with a particular set of rules.
“Korr – Skullin reference sheet” Art & species by Skylar Burge (facebook)
Edits by Element02/ owned by Element02
If you make a ‘sona of a particular (original) species: FOLLOW THE RULES!
Original species are more than just a lore and a look. They also have rules to keep them regulated. Like with any art, a creator wants to be credited for their work. They created the species and want to be recognized for it. That’s why most original species have rules that MUST be followed.
Example: the Mecari can only control a single element. While ‘spirit’ is considered an element, it is extremely rare and only those with permission from the creator may use it. So far, only the creator himself has one that can use spirit. There’s also a strict rule on how many Mecari a person can own. That’s so Mecari won’t be circulated heavily outside of the group, and they’re easier to keep track of on the master list.
The Leothaun also have rules…
While they’re free to make, people making their own Leothaun may not have rare mutations. They may only do common mutations that occur naturally on the sub-type of their choosing. Also, they may only own up to 8 Leothaun at a time. Rare Leothaun are reserved for adopts that the creator makes herself for sale. That’s to keep the rare mutations rare and special!
Even popular and well-known species have such rules.
Dutch Angel Dragons don’t allow their members to have a muzzle-ring. Only Telephone is allowed to have one. Dutch Angel Dragons aren’t allowed to have any sort of digestive tract, don’t engage in adult-content, and must have certain traits like feathered wings and horse-like face. They aren’t allowed to be hybrids and can’t have any sort of genitalia.
For some species, it’s important to know the difference between them being open or closed. A closed species means that you can’t make your own just because you want one. You need special permission from the species creator to make one, or you must adopt one straight from the creator (which usually means buying one). That’s so the species doesn’t go unregulated. Closed species are often more strict with rules on how their species look and function as well. Open-species means you’re free to make one whenever you like. Some open species are more regulated (like the Mecari and Leothaun) so that you can only make so many of the creature. Most let you go all out, but even if a species is open, they will still have rules to follow.
Primagen are a closed species, so you must buy one from the creators or a former owner of a Primagen to get your own. Protogen are open, but they too have rules that must be followed. Protogen may only have wings if they’re the rare kind, and rare Protogen are closed and limited to auctions by the creators only. People making protogen adopts may only make 2 per week. Protogen aren’t allowed to be feral either, they must be anthro. Also, Protogen have certain parts of them that must be biological, and parts that must be robotic. This ratio may not be changed.
Breaking rules of an original species can result in many things including getting booted from the official group forever and a Beware then posted. While these rules may exist, thieving still happens… species do get stolen all the time, and altered so other people can claim them as their original creation. So, owning a species and regulating it can become something of a job. It takes a lot of time and dedication to make it work.
“Zensu – Arual Dragon Reference Sheet” / Art & species by ZhiibeColorai
Edits by Element02 / Zensu belongs to RUNEAngelDragon
Original species are everywhere, and they really show off all the creativity in the fandom. They give people a place to feel they belong, meet new friends, and have something they see as special and unique. Original species may not be for everyone, and sometimes people see them as overwhelming… but this fandom has always been about being yourself and being an individual. So whether you’re a cat, a leathersaur, gecko, or manokit, just be happy and stay true to what feels right for you and what makes you happy!
Thank you all so much for tuning in! For more info on some regulated-open species, check out the list below. Special thank you to Craig Aimes and Natalia Hardy for letting me use your species as examples! If there are other original species that I did not list that you know of (and maybe you created), feel free to let me know in a comment down below!
As always, I will see you all in the next one!
Art by Aoijinn
Portal belongs to RuneAngelDragon
Protogen species created by MaliceXRisu
List of Original Species:
While I may not know of all the original species out there (nor would I have time to go looking for them all), I have compiled a list of some that I know of. Some are newer, some are years older. A few of them I actually found this week while browsing the Furry groups on Facebook, because original species pop up just that often! Feel free to check these out, and yes, all of these species are open… just make sure to read the rules. – Rune
Arual Dragons – created by ZhiibeColorai – (fb group)
Wisher Dragons – created by flamesvoices – (fb group)
Shayu – created by Kristina Renee Haley – (fb group)
Pokeball Dragons – created by RosexKnight – (fb group)
Protogens – created by MalicexRisu – (fb group)
Tea Tigers – created by Sophie Munro – (fb group)
Mecari – created by Craig Aimes – (fb group)
Leothauns – created by Natalia Hardy/thelostcause86 – (FA link)