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This article is about the mythological species. For the former wizard of FurryMUCK, see Centaur.
A male and female centaur from World of Warcraft.

A Centaur, also known as a hippocentaur, is a creature from Greek mythology, generally portrayed as a being with the full lower body of a large horse with the upper body that consists of the torso, arms and head of a human located approximately where the horse's head and neck should have been. They were considered barbarians, but certain centaurs, notably Chiron were viewed as divinely wise. Some earlier images of centaurs show them with four human legs rather than a horse body. A female centaur is called a Centauride, or a Centauress.


The Greek word kentauros is generally regarded as being of obscure origin.[1] The word Centaur comes from ken – tauros, possibly "piercing bull-stickers" or "bull-slayer", the same tauros as in Minotaur, "bull of Minos". The name Centaur is thus not descriptive of the creatures shape, but rather its function (slaying bulls). The use of "taur" to mean "a creature having a humanoid torso adjoining a quadrupedal body" can therefore be confusing, more so as "taur" means "bull" in some languages.

Some bestiaries referred to a half-human, half-donkey creature called an "Onocentaur".[citation needed]

There are few mythological tales of female centaurs which are called centaurides or centauresses, this may be because the myths make them out to be all males, but biologically it could be due to the fact that female centaurs may lack upper body breasts (despite how they are often shown in art) and so mistaken for males. [citation needed] There are other centaurs found in different cultures.

Centaur and furry[edit]

In anthropomorphic or furry fandom, there are many variant types of centaurs, often with greater or lesser amounts of animalistic appearance. For instance, some have the upper bodies of humans but the lower bodies of foxes, lions, or even spiders. In this case, centaur becomes a more generalized term referring to a usually hexapedal creature that possesses (usually) two manipulative appendages and four locomotive limbs, though even this can vary significantly, such as in the case of a spider centaur, which could have eight lower limbs.

Some are wholly animal in appearance, these usually go by the generic name taur usually having the upper body of an anthro creature and the lower body of the same. A foxtaur, for example, would have the upper body of an anthro fox as well as four lower fox appendages. Equitaurs are similar to centaurs, except that they have the upper body of an anthro horse.


  1. Template:Cite journal Scobie quotes Nilsson, Martin P.. 1955. Geschichte der griechischen Religion “Die Etymologie und die Deutung der Ursprungs sind unsicher und mögen auf sich beruhen”

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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