I was asking a deviantART.com artist why they often draw their anthros and furries with wide hips regardless of gender, and they told me this (copypasting):

"I'll see if I can't whip something up for you soon, usually i do the wider hips when it comes to ocs with anthro feet, since the leg structure is slightly different and the majority of the muscle is in the thigh rather than somewhat evenly spread between thigh and calf so I tend to draw the hips look out more so they're not so disjointed to the legs."

I really like this idea, but is it plausible? I'll probably end up using it in my fiction and stuff anyway even if every single last one of you tells me it's not, but lol, I wanna know regardless.

  • $\begingroup$ Not enough for an answer, but I tend to disagree with the comment about muscles in nature. Seems like even quadrupeds have stronger thighs / hindlegs than calves $\endgroup$ Sep 22, 2018 at 2:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the main reason humans have wide hips to to open a large area for birth ince the baby's head is larges part, it is the main reason our offsrping are born so helpless, they are as large as they can be asn still fit their head through the pelvis of the mother, in anthro's the head is often even larger (snouts), making the problem even worse. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Sep 22, 2018 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


They're Lying (But not on Purpose)

The art style you are referring to is using what is called Hyper-normal Features. You will often see it in comics, anime, hentai, cartoons, advertising etc etc. Basically, the parts of the opposite sex that your brain is wired to detect (assuming you are straight) are pretty specific. Hips, breasts, behind, and body proportions (slim neck, slim wrists, slim waist etc etc). In animal studies they took a wood pecker where the female has white spots and a red patch. They made a fake female wood pecker with a wildly exaggerated red patch and more numerous white spots and placed it next to a female. In the majority of cases the male began courtship dances with the exaggerated fake instead of the actual real thing. This behavior was true even when the fake female woodpecker was reduced down to simply being a stick with brighter than average white spots and a big red spot. They had hacked the animal's brain by identifying the traits the male's brain was evolutionary programmed to detect as sexually attractive. In this case, it was not an actual live female, but simply a color pattern.

This works for humans as well (though to a lesser degree because the traits we are programmed to identify are a bit more complex). But long and short of it, artists tend to draw women with wildly exaggerated sexual features because deep down inside your instincts are not very capable of telling the difference between a drawing and a real female, and will automatically be drawn to the exaggerated characteristics. This means you spend more time focused on the artists work, and are more likely to seek out more of it. In large scale art this is intentionally done to exploit this human psychological trick. Fan Art tends to simply imitate the style of mass media. For a literally 100% perfect example of utilizing hyper-normal features just google up Jessica rabbit from "Who framed Rodger Rabbit." (with safe search on preferably.) That particular character has been exaggerated to the point that her body could not even support its own weight or contain organs, yet she is one of the most common subjects of fan art projects, despite being a background character in a film from decades ago.

Wide Hips Are Detrimental to Mobility

Human infants are born in an incredibly undeveloped state, primarily because we have really big heads. This is why childbirth is such a painful and dangerous process for humans, because not only must the parent care for a totally helpless creature for a very long time, but even in the undeveloped state humans are born their heads are only JUSSSST small enough to pass through the human pelvis. One might be tempted to think "well, then why didn't we evolve wider hips and larger pelvic openings?"

Because a species whose females are not able to outrun predators, cover large distances, or catch prey doesn't survive. Due to our bipedal gait our hips cannot be too close together or too far apart, there is a sweet spot that maximizes mobility with a minimum detriment to surviving childbirth. Males pelvic structures are actually more efficient than females at running, load bearing, and long distance mobility, but males also don't have to pass a live infant through their pelvic opening either.

So, in summary, wider hips on a bipedal organism is great for childbirth, but terrible for mobility. Replace the incredibly efficient long stride of humans with a slow shuffling waddling pace and that's basically what furry/anime/fanart style hips would result in.

Flightless Birds

Flightless birds like the ostrich or emu are Digitigrade bipeds, however they have very narrow pelvic structures. Digitigrade bipedal body structure is highly effective at sprinting, but not a lot else. Unlike plantigrade bipeds, their knees and ankles cannot lock meaning that they must constantly be exerting much more effort when standing still than a plantigrade biped. They have sacrificed efficiency for speed, and thus have developed very narrow pelvic structures to take advantage of that. They also do not give live birth, which is another reason why their hips are able to be so narrow.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ We have no real life examples any exclusively bipedal Digitigrade organisms, so frankly, nobody knows how one would work. We can only compare and reference what we know about our own anatomy. Otherwise you are just speculating and there isn't really any point placing it in an answer. $\endgroup$
    – TCAT117
    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Correction, Flightless birds are digitigrade bipeds, and they have very narrow pelvis structure. $\endgroup$
    – TCAT117
    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Because they Are digitigrade. Digitigrade is not very good for standing, its really only good for jumping or sprinting. In digitigrade body structure constant effort must be expended through the lower leg muscles to maintain an upright posture. Humans knees and ankles lock letting the skeleton support the weight with minimal muscular effort. This is not possible in a digitigrade organism. $\endgroup$
    – TCAT117
    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "They're Lying (But not on Purpose)". It's impossible to "lie not on purpose", because -- by definition -- lying requires intent. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A set of biomechanical simulations could determine the best -- or at least adequate -- hip shape for digitigrades. (Not that I'm volunteering.) $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .