Furries are animals that have human characteristics or qualities, also known as anthropomorphized animal characters. Typical furries are humanoid, bipedal, mammalians with animal features. They are however of a wide spectrum, from animal-shaped to humanoid, from serious ones to cartoony, and can be from any animal species. The furry fandom is thus a subculture that has interest in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters. They explore, interpret and examine humanity and human values through anthropomorphic expression. They also appreciate, promote, and produce art and stories about anthropomorphic animals. This includes stuffed animals, costumes, artwork, stories, comic books and strips, and animated cartoons. Wearing clothes, walking on two legs, speaking, and exhibiting human facial expression and intelligence are some examples of anthropomorphic attributes.
Furry fandom may also refer to the community of people who convene over the Internet or at furry conventions. A furry convention is a formal meeting that features people from the furry fandom. A range of volunteer-led programmers are offered by furry conventions, with the focus being on anthropomorphic literature, music, crafts, and art. The development of furry fandom began in the 1980s as an offshoot of Fantasy fandom and Science Fiction. The subculture has since developed tremendously in terms of popularity and size, and has attracted enthusiasts as well as artists from across the globe. Today, the community includes thriving and creative writers, illustrators, artists, puppeteers, cartoonists, animators, costumers, and enthusiastic fans.
The furry fandom also has online communities. These communities are in the form of art community websites such as Weasyl, SoFurry, Inkbunny, Fur Affinity and social networking sites such as WikiFur, FurNation, and Furry 4 Life. In terms of sexuality, there is an overrepresentation of bisexuality and homosexuality in the community as compared to the general population. One of the most notable behaviors that cut across it though is the creation of an avatar or an anthropomorphic animal representation, also known as a fursona.