The term species refers to any type of animal or other living being.
In biology, a species refers to a basic unit of biological classification, or taxonomy, to identify types of living beings who are able to mate and bear children with one another. The real definition is quite a bit more complex and is discussed in some detail in Wikipedia:Species.
Species and furry
In the furry fandom, the term is used more loosely to mean any type of animal that is used to identify a character or fursona. It may be an actual species (e.g. a lion), or may encompass multiple species (e.g. a mouse), or in some cases be a type within a species (e.g. a husky). It may also refer to hybrid species, or a mythical, fictional, or genetically engineered species.
Phenotype is a borrowed term used by therians, biologists and geneticists, and to a lesser extent furries, to decribe a person's animal affiliation. Because phenotype has a specific scientific meaning (see Phenotype in Wikipedia) that can confuse those not familiar with this contextual use, Theriotype has been suggested as a replacement in the were community.
A closed species is a fictional species that is claimed to be owned by someone who limits the way in which new characters can be created. Most (if not all) closed species are claimed to be protected under copyright, but a species is too broad of an idea to be protected by copyright, and therefore they aren't. The organizers of a closed species will usually create and sell new characters or will review character submissions. Closed species will often have a public shaming list (blacklist) of people who are not allowed to create new characters of the species or in certain cases, even use existing characters that were allowed before their blacklisting.
The related term regulated species is used to refer to fictional species similarly claimed to be owned by someone but rather than the creation process being controlled design aspects or characteristics are. With a closed species one would have to register or buy their character, but with a regulated species one would have to comply to certain design guidelines. Controlled aspects of a regulated species may be sexual organs, hybrids, or skin/fur patterns. Regulated species may also control how the community may act, they may limit how many posts an artist can make of the species, the buying/selling of art containing the species, etc.
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