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For my a story I'm writing, I have 3 species that are from the same evolution line; Kitsune's, Tanuki's, and Bakeneko/Nekomatas. All three are familiar in the lines of shapeshifiting animals.

Their most distinctive trait is that they can look like a furry/yiff (i.e. zoomorphic) and a kemonomimi, which is what I'm focusing on for this question.

Which got me wondering, would their be a evolutionary reason and standpoint to have their humanoid forms (let's use a Tanuki for an example) that could shapeshift to go to one extreme to another at the same time at will?

enter image description here enter image description here (second picture is from Yagi the Goat, who also made more cute anthro pics)

Edit: Made it sound less confusing. I'm asking how they could transform to look like human to an anthromorphic form of their animals (cat, fox, tanuki), etc.

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    $\begingroup$ I would say that, by definition, humans are anthropomorphic (which literally means "has a human form"). $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 May 6 '18 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what you are asking. As @Giter says, you may want to be more clear about some word definitions. Also, "All three are familiar in the lines of shapeshifiting mammals that can take on many forms." What does that mean? $\endgroup$ – kingledion May 6 '18 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ if i remember right, kitsunes are actually doing illusionary change $\endgroup$ – Swift May 7 '18 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry but it is still confusing. Are you asking: (1) how can they transform from human shape to zoomorphic shape? (2) how can they appear human when viewed from the perspective of their untransformed friends? (3) how can they magically simultaneously look like a human to a human and like an animal to an animal? $\endgroup$ – DrBob May 7 '18 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @DrBob Hoe is it still confusing? I'm asking how one can transform from mostly human to furry? The pictures should be a clear example of what I'm asking for. $\endgroup$ – TGCF May 7 '18 at 17:03
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Temperature Control, Hunting, and Shelter

So what are humans good at, making stuff, endurance, and heat loss. What are cats, foxes, and raccoon dogs good at, hunting, and not dying from hypothermia. So with this this shape shifting ability you gain the best of both worlds, when you need to build a shelter to protect you from predators well become a human with those nice hairless, clawless, dexterous hands, that are so good a building things. Or if it gets too hot just lose the fur coat and panting, just do the much more effective sweating method of humans. And for when you need to hunt, well just become a predator with claws and teeth, and if they ares still humanoid, them the advantage of human endurance. Also when it gets cold just become a furry beast who keeps all its heat inside and you will be okay.

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The main benefit of a humanoid appearance is bipedalism (walking on two legs). This means that the species while bipedal can: engage in log distance jogging (arguably the first method of hunting in which the prey is worn down over time), and elevated head (in which more can be seen further) and the arms freed for tool use and social expression.

Lastly, speech is always a added benefit of a humanoid form, but assuming that the various species has had always had the ability to change between the two, I assume some form of communication that can be used in either form has been created.

The benefits of the animal form would be increased mobility (primarily speed and climbing), greater resistance to environmental conditions (weather, cold, heat etc), and increased senses; particularly senses of smell and hearing.

Additionally, if there are also normal human beings in your setting, being able to assume a completely-animal form would allow your species's to disguise their true nature.

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«Paragraph 1» "All three are [from similar lines] of shapeshifting animals" would be clearer

«Paragraph 2» Wording a bit odd however assuming you meant their common trait is that they look like a furry/yiff (i.e. zoomorphic (bottom)) vs a kemonomimi (top) it would be a bit clearer of a question

«Paragraph 3» As for evolutionary advantages, one such advantage would be full access to their animal traits while also having the size and dexterity of a human

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not quite sure what your plan was for this response, but it does not appear to be an answer to the question as given so much as an attempt at suggesting the OP edit the question. That's best done as a comment rather than an answer, because I'm certain your reply will soon be tagged for deletion! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas May 7 '18 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas This isn't a comment, it's a proposed edit of the question as you observe. This poster doesn't have the 2,000 points necessary to do so. nor the 50 points to comment. The poster is caught in a structural bind. $\endgroup$ – a4android May 7 '18 at 5:22
  • $\begingroup$ furry/yiff refers to fandom/theme. Word you want is "anthro", antropomorphic animal. $\endgroup$ – Swift May 7 '18 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @a4android Yep, that's pretty much the situation he's in! And we were all in that situation at one time! But there is a such thing as biding one's time. Earn a few points and pretty soon all sorts of cool SE features open up for one! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas May 7 '18 at 20:45

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