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Furry is a colloquial term used to indicate a particular category of fictional anthropomorphic animal. Put simply, a furry is a funny animal taken "seriously." Usage of the term furry is limited almost exclusively to members of furry fandom or other cultural groups aware of furry fandom; it is not widely used in mainstream circles. The term furry is also sometimes used to refer to a furry fan.

Within the accepted usage of "furry," Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, and Mickey Mouse are "funny animals:" they are anthropomorphic, mostly behave like people, and can be considered the cartoon equivalent of character actors. On the other hand Usagi Yojimbo, Omaha the Cat Dancer, and the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are furries (even though turtles don't have fur). They are generally more "realistic" in appearance than the funny animals are, and behave more like crosses between humans and animals. They are sapient, and just as much "people" as any fictional character, but they aren't presented as animals for laughs. For example, the rabbit characters in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down are sapient and talk to each other, but their behaviour and psychology is very closely derived from that observed in real-life rabbits. Other furries are not so closely tied to their animal sides, but there is always serious consideration of it to some degree or another. Andre Norton's Breed to Come, Brian Jacques' Redwall series, and Steven Boyett's The Architect of Sleep are other examples of novels featuring furries.

The term morph or anthro is also used for furries, both contractions of the term anthropomorph. The name of the animal the furry is based on is often prepended, for example rabbitmorph or lionmorph, to provide a more specific description. Morphic rabbit or morphic lion is yet another way to describe such creatures. The base animal is not necessarily limited only to those animals with fur, but sometimes more specific terms such as "scaley" and "feathery" are used when dealing with animal types with such skin coverings.

Furry creatures are often found in games, especially role playing games and computer games. Examples include the race of humanoid ducks found in the role-playing game RuneQuest and the races found in the Sonic the Hedgehog video games.

Much furry interest centers on artistic representations, often cartoon-like, of furry creatures; Yerf and VCL (Vixen Controlled Library) are two such online repositories of furry art. Amateur and professional artists ply their wares online, by mail order, and at furry fandom conventions. In 2003, Anthrocon's Art Show tallied sales of almost $50,000, only about 25% of which was for erotic or pornographic images, which are known as yiffy or spooge.

Comics creator Steve Gallacci is believed to have popularised this usage of "furry" through his association with many science fiction and comics conventions, and the small-press "funny animals" APAzine Rowrbrazzle.

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