“Volcanic Bonding” – Art & Leothaun species by thelostcause86
Masika belongs to MasikaRayne (FA) / Thyra belongs to shewulf7
Creativity has always been the highest focus of the Furry fandom outside of the love for anthropromorphic animals. That is to say that creativity is what keeps pushing the fandom forward whether it be art, music, crafting, or something else entirely. But, one of the amazing things that creativity has brought us within the fandom is the emergence of original species.
Why be a dog when you could be a RaptorDog? Why be a regular ‘ol rabbit when you could be a Bunninut?
Sounds crazy when you say it out loud, but these are actual species imagined by people within the community! Some create more of a stir than others…and in fact, most people know of a few original species that overwhelm the fandom today due to their popularity! For example: Primagen/Protogen and Dutch Angel Dragons. These species do not exist in the world that we know, therefore they were brainstormed and brought to life by individuals that wanted something different and something more. Sergals are another example of a popular, original species that was shown to the community and thus changed it forever.
“Leo Friends”- Art & Leothaun species by thelostcause86 (FA)
(left) Masika belongs to MasikaRayne (FA) / (center) Thyra belongs to shewulf7 (FA)/ (right) Natalia belongs to thelostcause86 (FA)
So, what makes an original species?
—Making an original species is a lot more complicated than it might sound. You can’t just slap two or more things together and call it “original” as that is just a hybrid (and don’t worry, the community will correct you if you try). Original species are a lot deeper than just a mix of animal parts- they require some sort of history, a lore, sometimes even a whole world. There has to be something that sets them apart as something rare and something unique.
For instance: Take the Mecari.
The Mecari are a creation of Craig Aimes (Blackpawwolf on FA – and Founder of CCSMascots) and on the outside, they seem just like a bat/dog hybrid (but are bat, dog, and bovine to be precise). Still, these little guys are not just the average hybrid as they are a species rich in culture and their own way of living. While not all the info has been released yet (it is being developed and released in chunks), the Mecari do reside in a particular universe with other original creatures, and they live very social lives with one another. They take on more tribal characteristics from coming-of-age ceremonies, to other sorts of rituals they perform. Even their family structure has been lined out, and, just recently, it was announced that each Mecari gets a power over a single element. Even their diet is lined out – and in coming up, info will include other such things like family structures and etc.
Even the color of their eyes have a history which is why they stand out. But, I could go on forever…so I think you get the gist of it. I myself have owned a Mecari now for awhile (with a partial suit being finished this year -2017) and I act as an Admin of the Mecari Den. They are so much more than just a slap of some parts and a name. They hold a story, and therefor are an original species.
Another great example of this would be the species known as the Leothaun! As a proud owner of a Tempest Leothaun named Masika, and as Admin of the Leothaun page, I could ramble on forever as to why this species is absolutely amazing!
Leothaun were created by Natalia Hardy (thelostcause86 on FA) and they reside on a planet known as Qualdralis. This planet, has a lore deep in religious background, where there was a Goddess and the Light Bringers, and the first Leothaun stepped onto the planet. Then, as time went on, the Leothaun changed…they evolved. Each type mutating to fit their environment (the biome they were residing in at the time), leaving us with several different sub-types of Leothaun, all with different characteristics. I mean, these guys are DETAILED!!!
Natalia went all-out when developing the Leothaun. She has charts on differences between the sub-types, to how each gender develops per its sub-type. The height, the life-span, the special powers, even the specific and rare mutations each sub-type suffers from and/or can have is listed in very detailed charts.
As mentioned before, I own a Tempest Leothaun. Their specific trait is that they can either control the wind, control lightning, can control neither, or even both! I was given the opportunity to have a ‘rare’ Leothaun, meaning my gal Masika has two genetic defects that makes her stand out. Firstly, she has the glowing/blank eyes. Secondly, her spot pattern is actually rare and sets her apart from the common Tempest.
Here recently, I was informed that the Tempest Leothaun are getting a third mutation they may have which is wings! This has not been completely fleshed out yet, but it makes sense since the Tempest Leothaun reside in a city that is floating in the sky.
My wife was also given a rare Leothaun by the creator. My wife owns a Volcano Leothaun named Thyra. Thyra’s rare mutation is that the blood running through her glows blue rather than the normal magma-orange-yellow color that volcano Leothaun normally get. Because, she is a volcano Leothaun, the females of this sub-type are actually taller than the males. So, there are so many interesting facts about them! But, when asked what they are in terms of anatomy, Natalia said she took inspiration from a lot of different animals. They can sometimes have canid faces but most resemble big cats. A few of the aquatic ones look more like otters, and their retractable fangs are inspired by snakes. So the Leothaun example is one of an original species that is still mixed, but is a lot more spread out in making something unique…and it also has the rich story and history to boot.
Cheshire the Mecari
Art by flamesvoices (FA) / Species created by Blackpawwolf (FA)
Cheshire belongs to: MecariCheshire (FA)
What makes an original species popular/unpopular?
—So, there are a LOT of original species out there. So many that I could not possibly even begin to list them all. So that begs the question: What makes an original species take off? How does an original species get as popular as a Dutch Angel Dragon or Sergal? Why have I not heard of so many species?
The reason why so many of these species are unknown is because a lot of original species tend to flop…even those that get a lot of hype tend to fall off the radar rather quickly. And some species are mimics of other species with very few differences which makes them rather unpopular (and they get a lot of backlash from the community), and a lot of it is based in how hard a creator is willing to work in order to build up a decent community as well.
All of those are factors in whether an original species will fail or will succeed.
As for a few examples, I made 3 species of my own which I thought (at the time) were amazing. There were the Graul, the Nintius Lupus, and the Bunninuts. All of them had a history, had lore, and had guidelines for their looks and what would set them apart. I even made facebook groups for them! People came into the group, but no one posted, no one ever made their own creature, and soon the group died without ever taking off. Why? Because people need a starting point.
It was not enough to give them a creature with a lore and say: “Here it is. Now make one! Enjoy!”
No. People are looking for an active creator that really wants these species to take off. I am talking about making a facebook group, making an official banner, setting up Admins, giving out free bases for people to color, raffling off adopts, making adopts, letting other people make adopts. An original species eventually will become a sort of business where advertising is the key to success. You want people to have fun and you want them to spread the word around.
And while it may seem a bit rude to say: furries can be cheap. They will jump on a free base much faster than if they have to pay for a custom creature. Also, if you don’t let them make adopts for profit, it will dissuade a good few. But, no one blames you for having rules and wanting to keep your species controlled. Still, you have to be willing to be a little open with a species if you want it to succeed. I have also found that digital art will always do better than traditional art…and again, this kinda goes into making bases for people to use. Also, getting people that you know involved and having them rep your species to gain attention will help significantly. I know several species that started out with just a few friends having one, and now it is a whole community…and whether popular or not, these things still tend to thrive in one way or another.
But as for the people that mimic other species and/or make hybrids of species that don’t allow hybrids…well, those never go over well. Because the one thing about an original species is that with that comes a particular set of rules.
“Korr – Skullin reference sheet” Art & species by Skylar Burge (facebook)
Edits by Element02/ owned by Element02
If you make a sona of a particular (original) species: FOLLOW THE RULES!
—Original species are more than just a lore and a look. They also have rules as to help keep them regulated. As with art, a creator wants to be credited for their work. They created the species, therefore they want to be recognized for what they have done. This is why most original species have rules! These rules MUST be followed!
Example: With the Mecari, they can only control a single element. While ‘spirit’ is considered an element, it is extremely rare, and only those given permission by the creator may use it. So far, only the creator himself has one that can use spirit. Also, there is a strict rule on how many Mecari a person can own. This is so that Mecari are not being circulated heavily outside of the group, and they are easier to keep track of on the master list.
The Leothaun also have rules…
While they are free to make, people making their own Leothaun may not have rare mutations. They may only do common mutations that occur naturally on the sub-type of their choosing. Also, they may only own up to 8 Leothaun at a time. Rare Leothaun are reserved for adopts that the creator makes herself for sale. This is to keep the rare mutations…well…rare and special!
Even the more popular and well-known species have such rules.
Dutch Angel Dragons do not allow their members to have a muzzle-ring. Only Telephone is allowed to have one. Same as Dutch Angel Dragons are not allowed to have any sort of digestive track, they do not engage in adult-content, and they must have certain traits like their feathered wings and more horse-like face. They are not allowed to be hybrids and may in no way have any sort of genitalia.
For some species, it is important to know the difference between them being open or closed. A closed species means that you can not make your own just because you want one. You either need special permission from the creator of the species to make one, or you must adopt one straight from the creator (which usually means buying one). This is so the species does not go unregulated. Closed species are often more strict with rules on how their species look and function as well. Open-species means you are free to make one whenever you like. Some open species are more regulated (like the Mecari and Leothaun) so that you can only make so many of the creature, but, most species let you go all out. But, even if a species is open, they will still have rules to follow.
Primagen are a closed species, therefore you must buy one from the creators or a former owner of a Primagen in order to get your very own. Protogen are open, but they too have rules that must be followed. Protogen may only have wings if they are the rare kind, and rare Protogen are closed and limited to auctions by the creators only. People making protogen adopts may only make 2 per week. Protogen are not allowed to be feral either, they must be anthro. Also, Protogen have certain parts of them that must be biological, and parts that must be robotic. This ratio may not be changed.
Breaking any rules of an original species can result in many things including one getting booted from the official group forever and a beware then posted. While these rules may exist, thieving still happens…species do get stolen all the time, and get altered so other people can claim them as their original creation. So, owning a species and regulating it can become something of a job. It takes a lot of time and a lot of dedication to make it work.
“Zensu – Arual Dragon Reference Sheet” / Art & species by ZhiibeColorai
Edits by Element02 / Zensu belongs to RUNEAngelDragon
—Original species are everywhere, and, they really shine the light on all the creative minds within the fandom. They give people a place to feel they belong, to meet new friends, to really have something they see as special and unique. Now, original species may not be for everyone, and sometimes people see them as overwhelming…but, this fandom has always been about just being yourself, being an individual. So whether you are a cat, a leathersaur, a gecko, or a manokit, just be happy and stay true to what feels right for you and what makes you happy!
Thank you all so much for tuning in! For more info on some regulated-open species, check out the list below. Special thank you to Craig Aimes and Natalia Hardy for letting me use your species as examples! If there are other original species that I did not list that you know of (and maybe you created), feel free to lemme know in a comment down below!
As always, I will see you all in the next one!
Art by Aoijinn
Portal belongs to RuneAngelDragon
Protogen species created by MaliceXRisu
List of Original Species:
—So, while I may not know of all the original species out there (nor would I have time to go looking for them all), I have compiled a list of some of the few I know of, and I have placed them here. Some are newer, some are years older. A few of them I actually found this week while browsing the Furry groups on facebook because original species pop up just that often! So feel free to check these out. Yes, all of these species are open…just make sure that you read the rules:
Arual Dragons – created by ZhiibeColorai – (fb group)
Wisher Dragons – created by flamesvoices – (fb group)
Shayu – created by Kristina Renee Haley – (fb group)
Pokeball Dragons – created by RosexKnight – (fb group)
Protogens – created by MalicexRisu – (fb group)
Tea Tigers – created by Sophie Munro – (fb group)
Mecari – created by Craig Aimes – (fb group)
Leothauns – created by Natalia Hardy/thelostcause86 – (FA link)