Morphic

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A morphic (or morph the Greek word for form, shape) is a furry character that has the body of a half-human, half-animal. Thus it is a character that is anthropomorphic, or partly human in appearance.

For most, the term is contrastive with the term nonmorphic. Some understand nonmorphic to mean beings that physically resemble animals, and are human only in mind, whereas others take it to mean human in form. Likewise there are those who regard morphic to mean primarily or solely human in appearance, while others understand the term to mean primarily or entirely like an animal in form.

This article is written primarily from the point of view that morphic describes beings more nearly human in appearance, and nonmorphic, those more animal in appearance.

Varying degrees of morphism

Visually, there are several trends that are often used in the furry version of anthropomorphism, and a morph can range anywhere on the scale between human and animal.

Some furries are mostly animals, running on four legs, but can stand on two legs if they want to. They may understand human speech, but can be unable to speak themselves other than in their 'normal' animal way of hisses/barks/roars/whatever. This group would include most Hollywood-style werewolves.

The most common furry characters on MUCKs and in furry art are the ones that are about half-half. They generally have the anatomy of a human being, but with paws, animal heads with muzzles, tails and fur. Most every one of these animal features can be varied towards either end of the scale.

As such, some within this group have digitigrade or unguligrade legs native to their species, and some have plantigrade legs the same as humans. Some have paws with claws, others have fur-covered human hands with fingernails or claws. Some have human-type hair that can be a different color than their fur, some only have the natural headfur of their animal counterparts. Even genitals can be entirely human, nearly human or a humanly-proportioned version of the original animal form.

The differences manifest in behavior as well, the vast majority of furries live in a human-like civilization with a human-like culture. Some furries wear clothes and others do not. Some do body- and fur-modifications, such as dyeing the fur or attaching rings and bands to their tails in addition to the common human modifications such as piercings.

At the other end of the scale, the most humanoid ones are commonly found in anime rather than furry culture, or at a point where the two blend together. These furries are almost completely human with real human skin and hair, but they possess animal ears, tails, hands, or feet in any combination.

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