I was reading a furry story the other day that featured an Arctic fox character, and the story made a point of mentioning that in the winter this fox’s white coat blended in well with his surroundings but in the summer it did not. This small detail was jarring to me because the coats of real Arctic foxes change with the seasons. I have also seen furry stories that describe how when night came, a wolf or a bobcat or whatever had a harder time seeing in the dark, and had to light a lantern or whatever… but such creatures that are often active at night (well, the real ones) have great night vision, so they wouldn’t need such tools to see in the dark. And of course, real wolves and hyenas and other large carnivores have such incredible jaw strength and sharp teeth that using a weapon like a sword would be completely unnecessary for them. And, come to think of it, for furbearers and others, clothing is technically unnecessary, too.
I was just wondering, as a newcomer to the furry writing community… How much research do you do into the template species you use for your characters? How much of their actions/behavior/appearance/abilities is based upon the same traits in the template species, and how much is fanciful/imagined? How much value does the “species” of your character hold to your story beyond a purely symbolic one? Not meant to be a criticism - I am just genuinely curious. Obviously if we’re making animals walk upright and talk, wear clothing, etc., we are already departing significantly from the template of the “real” animal. But how much do you, personally, depart, and still call the creature a red fox, a long-tailed weasel, a marmoset, etc.?
Thanks for your time. I’ve been wondering about this for a while!