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Species Desirability: Physical Verses Cultural Attractiveness

Why did you choose the species for your fursona or primary character(s)?

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Slippery When Wet
Getting back to the topic, I wonder if the hatred towards wolves is one reason for their popularity in the fandom? From what I gather a lot of furries feel left out in the society so that could be why they feel affinity with wolves that are likewise hated without a reason.
There could be a lot of truth to that.

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
Getting back to the topic, I wonder if the hatred towards wolves is one reason for their popularity in the fandom? From what I gather a lot of furries feel left out in the society so that could be why they feel affinity with wolves that are likewise hated without a reason.
Maybe, but there WAS a reason wolves were hated. The world has not always been as comfy as it is today and entire communities depended on cattle which wolves would often slaughter much more of than they would actually eat.
The reason I picked a wolf is because they are wildly misunderstood creatures, are living in a world not necessarily for them, and have adorable snoots. There are so many negative connotations to a species that has always had to fight tooth and nail to survive in a human-centric world. Even now, the 'free' wolves are chipped, corralled, tranquilized, moved around to different habitats, manipulated, forced to breed, shot by cowards in helicopter 'cullings', and yet... if you met all of their most basic needs: food, water, safety, they want for nothing and act like big puppies. Unlike people, who always want more, more, MORE. Go have an encounter with a well-cared and socialized wolf on a wildlife reserve and see for yourself they aren't the monsters people make them to be. Their slaughter of livestock is necessary to their survival, just as people felt wolve's deaths were necessary to theirs.


Daedric Prince of Secrets
How silly of me! I forget myself sometimes. I based my description in the OP off of the typical romanticized depictions of wolves and foxes, which has always been more common to me. Most people probably haven't ever even seen a wolf in real life, especially outside of a zoo or some such thing. At least the city slickers of North America where my own culture is largely derived from.

But yeah, think of that as only an example of a cultural depiction of an animal. :p


Woof? Woof
I saw a dog once.


the big glow
I made an eight foot tall dinosaur alien heavy with religion and born in an honor-bound warrior society.

Deleted member 134556

I chose dragons because I've loved them my whole life and still do, ever since I got Spyro the Dragon for my Playstation back when I was young. I chose to incorporate cybernetic/sci-fi elements into my sona for visual appeal and uniqueness. I love the concept of having advanced sci-fi technology and futurism in a creature more associated with fantasy and history.

Culturally wise, dragons are a huge part of European culture, literature, and mythology, and have become popularized in more modern Western fiction and fantasy, through stories, movies, and video games.


Antelope-Addicted Hyena
My reasons are really tangled, the cultural, physical and personally symbolic aspects going together.

With my history of being very disliked (and that's a merciful understatement) and feeling that I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel of life, I've always felt drawn to scavengers. Even before finding out about other furs, I had vague fursona-like ideas, and it was a jackal at that time.

After finding out about the fandom, I gave this matter the more thought. Looking through various species, I stumbled upon the striped hyena, at that time practically unknown to me. And this was it.

The striped hyena doesn't like to over-exert itself (to say the least... call it lazy), but will gladly pounce on an opportunity. It's less social than the spotted one. Somewhat hysterical, when faced with an opposition is equally likely to either feign dead, or go berserk. But otherwise can be pretty chill, even friendly, and all the grumpiness is more of a habit and doesn't need to result in anything bad. Well, that's me...

Aside from meat (more or less fresh...), striped hyenas actually like fruits a lot. To the point of causing damage to plantations of melons, watermelons and dates. Well, if I had access to either, it might have ended up with causing some damage too.

On more symbolic levels, my love for death metal (and other kinds of "angry" music) contributed a lot. Obviously, the hyena is a scavenger, accused even of robbing graves. Quite fitting. As is my skewed sense of humor and tendency to laugh maniacally at things which others don't necessarily understand. Also, in the folklores of the countries where it lives, the striped hyena is associated with witchraft and magic. Not bad for someone with esoteric interests.

As funny as it seems, there can be some physical traits even. I can stomach almost anything (within reason!) and any gastric problems are extreme rarity for me, usually a sign of overbearing stress rather than any bad food. There have really been cases when I was unaffected by things which caused (mild) poisoning in others. And when designing the fursona, my own mug turned out to be quite good match for hyena's heavy, blocky muzzle. And (according to Wikipedia), the striped hyena needs more water than most other carnivores. I need rather lot of water too, to the point where I was suspected of having diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, but nothing came up in tests.

The looks did play a role, of course. The lush, long coat with contrasting stripes. A long mane, easy to re-imagine as long hair (I did have mine almost butt-length back in the days; currently shortened for purely practical reasons but maybe I'll revert...). And those ears, for some reason I love things with big, pointy ears. Overall, if you watch without prejudices about "filthy carrion-eater" etc, this is a really beautiful animal.

All in all, it's a match like no other for me, and despite some experiments with alternate characters, in my heart of hearts I'm a striped yeen going strong since something like 14 years at this point! To paraphrase my favorite author Bruno Schulz (the original quote was about the dog): "Please don't get me wrong. It was a hyena – undoubtedly, but in a human shape. The hyenish quality is an internal one and it can manifest itself equally in human as well as animal forms."


New Member
My choices when picking a species were a mix of aesthetics, my lifestyle, as well as public opinion. I am a creature designer, vet student and bird breeder/enthusiast> so I wanted a design that was exotic, and related to my love for birds and reptiles.
I flipped through a through species on my journey to where I am now. when I first realized I was a furry I was immediately a fuschia bird raptor covered in bone patters and a pretty mohawk of pink feathers. Then I became a brown balaur bondoc with vaguely finfoot-esque plumage, next a brown and orange raptor similar to the first but much less edgy, reflecting my love of the arts, but also my more modest clothing choices. Then for whatever reason I just all ties to raptors and the like and wanted something more outside the box. I dumped in all sorts of species into the cauldron; dodos, utahraptors, balaur bondoc, chickens, macaws, larger monitor lizards. monkey tailed skinks, etc. And via that process and the magic of cohesive creature design we have landed at my current fursona of six years.
The Moa of 2021 by theroyalfowl -- Fur Affinity [dot] net
"Plumebeast" are a fictional species of paravian dinosaur I came up with and am doing some dense worldbuilding around. I have always loved dinosaurs and birds so a colourful representation of myself that fit into that box was a no brainer to me. Something that was key in his design was getting across his reliance on the world around him. I am a big nature lover and go into the swamps whenever I can. wood-hermit and Hagrid type works appeal to me the most. This fursona represents the best version of myself, free of the worries of man and the world he has built, and much more in tune with nature and what it offers us.

My Secondary fursona is a Dodo X casaurius unnapendiculatus Occipitalus (I only wrote the scientific name since there are more than subspecies/variant). I chose this species combo because Dodos aren't well known outside of being the extinction punchlines, and Cassowaries are a HIGHLY misunderstood species.
Cheers by theroyalfowl -- Fur Affinity [dot] net
Whenever people think of Cassowaries in general they think of the double wattled-variety and those dirk-like inner claws, and most frequently stories or imagery of them chasing or harming people. The reality is there are at most 8 or so cases of human vs. Cassowary incidents of notoriety, if that. And I can only recall 2-3 that resulted in death, and almost all are due to deteriorating conditions in the wild, or humans cornering them.

I can relate to this species aswell as the dodo impart due to my distant and intimidating appearance, which is not intentional. I am actually very personable, my only real issue is relating emotions, so humans themselves are weirder to me than any bird would be.

Diet wise I align heavily with the dodo and cassowary of choice, I eat a LOT of fruit. I used to probably eat 20 apples a day at school due to not having lunch money. Binging fruits was a necessary act just to stay satiated during the day. And the type of fruit I binged was dependent on the growing season due to school. Hard to get fat on fruit so I am fortunate for that. I consume a lot fish and crustaceans now which would still be cannon I suppose, but much less of the fruit quantities I blew threw when I was younger.
I didn't choose a flying archosaur(birds included), because I cannot relate to them as much as I wish I could. Condors are lovely birds as are hornbills, and as much as I love them I cannot relate my own flightlessness to their ariel prowess. But I can relate my big and long hammers for legs, and hops to those of ratites. I also took Taekwondo for 13 years gaining a blackbelt and the might of ratites in distress or conflict just relates so nicely to the leg-heavy combat I got to take part in back then.


Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Now I thought, maybe my "antelope alt" needs some addressing too, since he's featured in my art quite much. But this case is much simpler. It's half the looks, and half the inspiration by my wife.

I'm very much into antelopes admittedly, but it is mainly for esthetic reasons, and the potential for developing unique, diverse characters, using species that hardly anyone has heard about. I don't have that much of personal affinity to them, contrary to the hyenas.

Still, a temptation for making an "alt", even if for physical attractiveness only, was too strong when I learned about the beautifully colored, fluffy nyalas. And when my wife rather jokingly said that her spirit animal is the klipspringer, things kind of fell into place (even more when she said that my tarot card is the Devil – oh, those hooves and horns! Also, to me the antelopes have a lot of "heavy metal potential" because of this).

Klipspringer is a kind of tiny cute antelope that lives on rocks, and it fits her incredibly well: lithe and agile, when hiking she's just zipping through the worst of terrain like it's nothing – while me, much less apt lowland nyala, get overheated, dehydrated and generally can't keep up!

Also, as said in another thread, our relationship is very gentle one and really well symbolized by a pair of placid herbivores.

But she also has an aardwolf character, matching my yeen, so I have a choice when it comes to the art.


Pixel fuzz
It's all appearance for me. I just think foxes, wolves and dragons look cool. Rabbits, mice, raccoons, dogs and cats look adorable, etc.

I'm guessing the reason why turtles, ostriches, giraffes, fish, etc aren't that popular is because they just don't evoke either of those tropes through their appearance very often. Some could maybe pull it off.


Both. My main fursona is a canine, and the other (which I sometimes include in my stories as a sort of narrator) is a feline in a world of cat people. The dog has some wolfish traits the cat has some wildcat traits, but I like to think they share characteristics that make cats and dogs popular animals.


Both physical and cultural influences were factors in choosing my fursona.

My fursona is modeled after the Mexican Grey Wolf, also known simply as The Lobo. This is a my personal cultural heritage as an individual.

Additionally, wolves are often viewed as predatory, and that may be true as a means of survival. Though in actuality, the Wolf is more often than not quiet and reserved.


Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
Although I don't have him in my icon, I've pretty much made Baalf the elephant / bunny / walrus monster my fursona. He's basically a combination of things I like in character designs.

Jackpot Raccuki

Vibing Raccuki
I originally chose Grizzly bears since I generally loved how big cute and fluffy they are, they’re physically strong but often still portrayed as both sometimes unintelligent but I contribute that to the whole “dumb barbarian” trope as they’re often the muscle and of course that they don’t recognise their own hugging strength hence bear hugs.

But as anyone can tell I slowly fell out of that since I felt that it didn’t really suit me, and whiles making Jackpot I did slowly become attracted to him in the sense of relating to him, he accepts that he’s often viewed as pure evil, even greedy but this isn’t always bad, or at least greedy part since it also meant he could just want to keep a friend or rather his boyfriend all to himself and possibly be loyal in the sense of that’s HIS boyfriend, no one else.

His raccoon half was also appealing thanks to Sly Cooper at the time, although a thief he still had his own guidelines and was honourable, and in general being hot. Plus Raccoons in general are cute and sometimes get a bad rep coz trash, but yknow, these things are hella cute and very smart bandits!
The tanuki half was mostly because of how similar they look to raccoons but aren’t the same, giving my excuses for canine features but also just how tanukis have been depicted as smart tricksters with immense fortune, fitting for a greedy being who plays tricks, often to scam them but still.


Daedric Prince of Secrets
Looking at our data pool it would seem the physical characteristics are overwhelmingly an influential factor when there aren't the only factor. (As far as this poll is concerned anyways).

The question now becomes why? Are we all just vain? :p Perhaps, indeed likely so I'd wager, the more attractive and desirable species are viewed more positively in other regards as well, akin to the attractiveness stereotype in humans. Regardless, an interesting trend!


seeker of knowledge
My fursona is a Tauren. They are an anthropomorphic, bipedal bovine race from Azeroth. (World Of Warcraft)

I really enjoy the culture, language, and belief system of Tauren. (Who call themselves Shu'halo in their native tongue; Taurahe.)

I find female Tauren quite attractive, too, both looks wise, and personality wise. They are tough, sweet, badass, and gentle giants. All mixed in one, with a lovely culture based loosely off Native American ones, to boot.

In a game where most people play humans, elves or Draenei for their looks and charm, I was always drawn to Tauren females. I had like, 6-7 at maximum level when I retired.

I liked them so much, I made my original female Tauren shaman my fursona, and her name was.. Eremurus. The scientific name of a plant I find particularly beautiful. Fitting, I guess.

My Tauren, Eremurus, was a shaman. A restoration shaman, in other words, a healer. She was an engineer by trade, and thoroughly enjoyed her engineering goggles both for their versatility, and their looks. She builds and designs all sorts of mechanical machines and gadgets, which is highly unusual for a Tauren, who are usually warriors or hunters that live off the land.

So hopefully that was a good read for someone.


New Member
I think my fursonas are mostly based on what animals fit my vibe. I was like 12 I chose a wolf just because they where my favorite animal, I also had an intense (were)wolf phase around that time. My wolf fursona sorta stuck around and slowly changed into just a generic canine stuffed animal. The stuffed animal part mostly came to be because I get called a support stuffed animal in my friend group a lot lol. I chose a raccoon as a second sona because it just fits me personality wise, I've never actually thought about culture in relation to my fursona. Definitely going to look into that a bit more.

edit: too many typos


It is no secret fursona species composition is heavily biases in favour of certain animals over others. Exactly why is this?

Two common examples are wolves and foxes, both typically depicted in positive manners by Western societies. "Lone wolf," loyal like a wolf, "sly as the fox," "quick as a fox," etc. However there is no denying the physical appeal of the two. People love dogs and aesthetically wolves are pretty much just bigger, fluffier dogs. Foxes are prized for their beautiful furs and have been highly sought after for much of history.

But what about other animals? Are grizzly bears chosen for their strength? Otters for their cuteness? Opossums because they play dead whenever they encounter stressful situations? Have films and media inspired the creation of new characters based off the traits represented by the characters rather than the animals themselves?

Myself, I knew I was going to be a raccoon pretty much right away, but I don't really know why. When I thought of myself as an anthro character, he was a raccoon and that's never changed. I like raccoons but they're far from my favourite animals and cultural depictions of raccoons are very often negative. (Fat trash-pickers mostly). I see my character as much the opposite, lean and muscular, prim and clean, but he's still a raccoon.

How about other furries? Why did you choose the species you did?
Think of it this way. The simpler the design of the species, the more flexible the colors you make your fursona out to be. That's why canines and felines are the most common species to be used as fursonas. Granted The composition of common fursona species are simple and can therefore be molded by proportions. There's not much risks taken when you pick a common species.
However, underrated fursona species require risk taking and creativity in order for these species to work (bugs, worms, etc...) and are a great challenge and well worth keeping as a fursona in my opinion, which is why I picked my roach bugsona. Besides the personal connection, the composition of insects can be difficult to work around and takes creative thinking and ingenuity in order to make this kind of character your own.

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー

Well... I have been switching species before I officially began to interact with furries--domestic dog, dragon, again domestic dog, then tiger, leopard, lynx, and then.. Now I'm a domestic cat.
Every single one of those species I chose to be in the past were, honestly, from physical appeals. It was later stuff that I got to discover their characteristics and cultural influences, and coincidentally, dog really fit the past me.

However, life and time made me change, and I suffered countless frustrations from conflicts beteeen my personality and society.(I'm likely not alone here in terms of frustrations and suffering, though.)
Every time I get hit by dramas like getting hit by trucks, I needed to change my approach on several aspects, and it turned out--I fail drastically less when I learn from domestic cats.
Appearance wise... Well, while they ain't as famous as Canines and Vulpines, I believe most of us know them, so I'll skip this part.
But more importantly, what got my heart were the cats' characteristics--strategical mindset, adjustability, and rationality.

What can I say... I personally consider this one of the perfect fit characteristics to learn from to aid my life in this 'wild' society. And perhaps.. the 'sweetest' one shall be the availability to be both 'serene and vigilant' and 'lovely and sincere'. UwU

Well, short answer: Both physical and cultural!
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