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- This page is about anatomy. For a member of the fandom, see Furry.
The pelt is commonly made up of more than one type of hair. Some of the most prominent types of hair that make up the pelage include guard hairs (such as the defensive spines of porcupines), and bristles (which make up the mane of lions). The pelage is significant in several respects: as insulation; as a guard against injury; and, in its coloration and pattern, as a species adornment for mutual recognition among species members, concealment from enemies, or, in the case of many males, as a sexual allurement to promote courtship and mating
Fur usually consists of two main layers:
- Ground hair or underfur — the bottom layer consisting of wool hairs which tend to be shorter, flattened, curly and denser than the top layer.
- Guard hair — the top layer consisting of longer straight shafts of hair that stick out through the underfur. This is usually the visible layer for most mammals and contains most of the pigmentation.
Fur and furry
In the furry fandom, the term fur can be used in several different ways. It can refer to a member of the fandom (e.g., I'm meeting some furs for dinner). It can allude to a furry character in a story or movie (e.g., Plonq often has disagreements with the other furs in his office.). The term can also be used to describe a person's fursona (e.g., Brightwings likes hanging out with other furs).
Many furry fans[who?] are opponents of the use of real fur, both in and outside of furry fandom. However, in the video entitled "Furries Of Anthrocon: Beneath The Fursuit" posted by NBC News on youtube, reporter Amna Nawaz discovers that actual authentic fur is still used in making clip-on tails for the fandom and is still for sale.
|Real fur is frowned upon at all furry conventions, in the same sense that leaping in front of speeding locomotives is frowned upon at comic book conventions.
—Samuel Conway, in response to a letter sent by PETA to Anthrocon, Inc., Dear Furries, Please Don't Wear Real Fur. Love, PETA
Colors and pattern
A pattern can be stripes, spots, bars, bands, rings, or other similar feature of a lighter or darker hue than the base color.
The base color can range anywhere within the rainbow, though mammals typically have more earth-tone colors (brown, blond, black, grey).
A common feature of fur coats in wild animals is countershading - having the underside a lighter color than the upperside. This is a form of camouflage which offsets the shading effects caused by sunlight shining from above; it effectively makes their overall colour more flat. This is possibly why many mammals have white or light fur on their chest and belly.
Construction and components
Websites and databases