6 Exotic Fantasy Animals To Create A Unique Fursona
by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Do you want something different in choosing a furry persona? Are the usual anthropomorphic wolves, foxes, cats, otters, and bears too overused in your opinion, ever with bright neon fur or wings or horns? Even dragons and unicorns are too common in furrydom for you?
There are still a number of exotic fantasy animals that you can choose among that are almost or completely ignored in furrydom. Frankly, some of these are probably unused because they look so ungainly, or are too impractical to exist. Others look too much like other animals. But they’re real in the lists of mythical animals. Some are more prevalent in heraldic art.
This is on the coat-of-arms of the municipality of Inari, Finland, in far northern Lapland. The village is on the shore of Lake Inari, the largest lake in Lapland. It is known for its salmon and trout fishing. Lapland is known for its reindeer. A salmon plus a reindeer’s antlers give us this image.
This would probably be more suitable for badge art than for a fursuit. There are not any salmon in furrydom, with or without antlers.
The chakat, a 24th-century alien feline centauroid, is the creation of Melbourne furry fan Bernard Doove. He has written several novels set in the Chakat Universe, with covers by furry artists that illustrate the four-legged cattaurs. There are also foxtaurs, skunktaurs, and others, originally created artificially but now (in the 24th-century) breeding naturally. Doove has given another fan, James R. Jordan, permission to write chakat stories. There are no chakat fursuits, but Doove’s fursona is Chakat Goldfur.
Presumably Doove, who is active in Oz fandom and usually comes to America every year for Anthrocon, will give other fans if asked to use his chakats. This is another fursona that is more practical in fan art than in fursuits. (Are there any taur fursuits?)
Wikipedia says of this heraldic animal, “The Enfield has the head of a fox, forelegs like an eagle’s talons, the chest of a greyhound , the body of a lion, and the hindquarters of a wolf.” An enfield fursuit would probably look like a badly-designed griffin with a fox’s head. Those who have used the enfield in heraldic art have shown no agreement upon color; the enfield has been shown in scarlet, green, blue, or golden.
This half-lion, half-fish may be the best-known of these, because it is a popular symbol of Singapore. It is the official mascot of Singapore, and was in fact created by Alec Fraser-Bruner for the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board in 1964. Although the merlion may look ungainly, there have been merlion characters in anime and video games, and there are merlion mascot costumes in Singapore.
Our thanks to MikasiWolf, a native of Singapore, for sending us these images. (Is the merlion being cruelly used in circuses?)
The merlion is also the mascot of Svirstroy, Russia, on the Svir river; shown on its city flag.
The tikbalang is a Philippine mythological demon based upon the horse. It has been depicted as everything from a horse-headed and –hoofed man to a demonic, fanged, fire-breathing black horse. It is probably based on the first-seen horses brought to the Philippines by the Spanish in the 16th century. It is a popular monster in Filipino comic books.
The yale is a little-used heraldic animal, like the enfield. Wikipedia describes it as looking antelope- or goat-like, with exaggerated tusks like a boar or saber-toothed tiger, and large horns that it can rotate or swivel in any direction. The yale was first described by Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.), and may be based upon the ibex.
Probably the real-life markhor, the national animal of Pakistan, was too far into the East (it’s the Himalayan equivalent of the Rocky Mountains’ Big-Horned Ram) to have been an influence for the yale when it was created in Pliny the Elder’s day. Hey, there aren’t any markhors in furrydom! (Fursuits are uncomfortable enough without wearing those huge, twisty horns. But there are a few fursuits with majestic horns.)
Last month (September 2018), BBC News announced that a wild tur had escaped from an English zoo and was loose in the western English countryside (“the English Riveria”). People were warned not to get close to it, and to let the police capture it. Except it was not called a tur, doubtlessly because the English public would not know what a tur was. It was a “goat-antelope”.
And speaking of Pakistan, have you seen its Urdu-language TV cartoon masked heroine who fights crime in a burka, Burka Avenger? A burka is about as efficient a crime-fighting costume as a wedding dress would be. I give up; if people will accept burkas as crime-fighting costumes, bring on your merlion fursuits!
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My comparison of a burka to a wedding dress as a costume to fight in isn’t just a flip remark. I’ve had a dislike of impractical crime-fighting costumes long before Edna Mode’s “No capes!” in The Incredibles.
To me, the best example was the World War II-era costumed hero Spy Smasher. He wore what looked like an aviator’s suit (originally brown, later green) with identity-concealing hood and goggles, and a long, flowing scarlet cape. In the comic book the cape looked great; always flowing dramatically.
In 1942 Republic Pictures made a 12-episode black-&-white live-action Spy Smasher serial. The hero, actor Kane Richmond, looked just like Spy Smasher was drawn in the comic book. But in live-action, the cape just hung limply except when Spy Smasher was in action. Then, it looked like if Spy Smasher wasn’t careful, he would trip over it or it would snag on to something. I’ve been skeptical about elaborate, body-confining costumes and flowing capes worn for action crime-fighting ever since.
I have been told that a lot of furries do not like Chakats because they are written as being unrealistically perfect and overpowered in the novels they feature in.
There are two aspects of the Chakats here; as they have been defined by Bernard Doove, and as they have been written by him.
The definition describes the ideal Chakat, just as the dictionary description of the male and female humans will describe the ‘perfect” specimens. It is up to the fiction writers to describe those who are imperfect in various ways,
It has been several years since I read a Chakat story. Doove has been writing My Little Pony fanfic recently. So I don’t remember if he has defined the Chakats as always perfect, or if he just prefers to write about healthy, unflawed Chakats, and others could write about mentally sick or disfigured Chakats.
I’ll invite Doove to participate in this discussion.
Enfields are rare creatures indeed, but here’s a statue of an Enfield: