Guide to the Levels of Animal Anthropomorphism

This animal anthropomorphism guide outlines thirteen levels of physical anthropomorphism in animal characters.

Level #0: Complete natural body type of their species; move completely like their real counterpart; is quadrupedal if a naturally quadrupedal species; have completely natural stance depending on the species; paws and hooves don’t have the ability to gesture or grasp things the way human hands can; birds have completely naturalistic wings that gesture like normal bird wings; has facial expressions completely like respective species

Level #1: Complete natural body type of their species; move completely like their real counterpart; is quadrupedal if a naturally quadrupedal species; have completely natural stance depending on the species; paws and hooves don’t have the ability to gesture or grasp things the way human hands can; birds have completely naturalistic wings that gesture like normal bird wings; like Level 0 but has the full range of facial expressions that humans have

Level #2: Complete or near complete natural body type of their species; move completely or mostly like their real counterpart; is quadrupedal if a naturally quadrupedal species; rarely walks on two legs in most cases and not able to walk that way as well as they can on all fours; can sit up on their haunches (depending on the species in question), stand with their knuckles on the ground (if a nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical natural stance; paws and hooves can have either a full or limited ability to gesture and even grasp things the way human hands can; birds have naturalistic wings that can gesture and even grasp things like human arms and hands

Level #3: Body largely, mostly, or completely keeps the naturalistic or basic shape of their respective species, despite being partly bipedal; naturally four-legged animals can walk on two legs as well as they can walk on all fours, but like Level 2, they can’t run on two legs as well as they can run on all fours; can sit up on their haunches (depending on the species in question), stand with their knuckles on the ground (if a nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical two-legged stance, whether with bent or straight legs; paws and hooves gesture and grasp things like human hands; birds have naturalistic or partially arm-like wings that grasp things and gesture like human arms and hands

Level #4: Body largely, mostly, or completely keeps the naturalistic or basic shape of their respective species, despite being bipedal; naturally four-legged animals can walk and run on two legs as well as they can on all fours; can sit up on their haunches (depending on the species in question), stand with their knuckles on the ground (if a nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical two-legged stance, whether with bent or straight legs; paws and hooves gesture and grasp things like human hands; birds have either naturalistic or partially, mostly, or nearly arm-like wings that grasp things and gesture like human arms and hands; seldom has human-like breasts

Level #5: Body has a basic or simplified bipedal shape; body can keep some or a little of the respective species’ shape; can sometimes have humanlike shoulders; naturally four-legged animals can walk and run on two legs as well as they can on all fours; can sit up on their haunches (depending on the species in question), stand with their knuckles on the ground (if a nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical two-legged stance, whether with bent or straight legs; paws and hooves gesture and grasp things like human hands; birds have either naturalistic or partially, mostly, or nearly arm-like wings that grasp things and gesture like human arms and hands; seldom has human-like breasts

Level #6: More anthropomorphic variant of Level 5; Body has partially, largely, mostly, or even nearly human-proportioned, but not humanoid arms and legs on a body that otherwise keeps either the basic shape of their respective species or a basic Level 5 body type; can sometimes have humanlike shoulders; quadrupedal animals can walk and run on two legs just as well as they can on all fours; stand with their knuckles on the ground (if a nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical two-legged stance, whether with bent or straight legs; can either have human-like breasts even if not a mammal or not have them; birds have either naturalistic or partially, mostly, or nearly arm-like wings that grasp things and gesture like human arms and hands; occasionally has human-like breasts; compromise between Levels 5 and 7

Level #7: Body partly like their respective species and partly humanoid; either humanoid legs and non-humanoid torso, a humanoid torso and non-humaniod legs; or semi-humanoid all over; male ones with a humanoid torso and partially humanoid or non-humaniod legs sometimes have top heavy torsos; often have humanlike shoulders; quadrupedal animals can walk and run on two legs just as well as they can on all fours; stand with their knuckles on the ground (if nonhuman ape or a generic cartoon monkey), or stand with a typical two-legged stance, whether with bent or straight legs; birds have either naturalistic or partially, mostly, or nearly arm-like wings that grasp things and gesture like human arms and hands; can either have human-like breasts even if not a mammal or not have them; compromise between Levels 6 and 8

Level #8: Looks like the animal’s head and tail (where applicable) on a body that looks like a fur, feather, scale, or otherwise animal accented human body; body shape can reflect the animal’s species a little, but has to be human-shaped; head that is either completely, largely, or half the shape of that of the respective species; have the muzzle, beak, or bill of their respective species; feet are either plantigrade or digitigrade (or unguligrade if a hoofed animal); feet are normally shaped completely mostly, or largely like that of their species; feet can be nearly, mostly, largely, or partially human-shaped, but has to be animal-accented; usually has human-like breasts even if not a mammal

Level #9: More anthropomorphic variant of Level 8; has a largely, mostly, or nearly human-shaped head with the animal’s ears and full or partial muzzle, beak, or bill; has animal-accented, completely human-shaped hands; completely humanoid body shape; has human-proportioned, plantigrade, animal-accented feet that are either completely, mostly, or largely human-shaped; usually has human-like breasts; compromise between Levels 8 and 10

Level #10: Looks like an animal-accented human face and body frame with the animal’s ears, nose, tail (where applicable), markings, and often fur, feathers, scales, or sembance thereof on a nearly human-shaped head with some, little, or no semblance of their species’ muzzle; can have a human nose bridge, but has still has the animal’s nose, completely human hand and foot shape; has the beak or bill respective to their species that is small regardless of their species if a bird; usually has human-like breasts and humanlike hair (or hairlike feathers if a bird)

Level #11:  Looks like an animal-accented human face and body frame with the animal’s tail (where applicable), markings, and sometimes a sembance of fur, feathers, or scales on a nearly human-shaped head with no semblance of their species’ muzzle; has largely, mostly, or completely human ear position, but either have the animal’s ear shape or some semblance thereof; can either have a completely human nose or have the animal’s nose on a human nose bridge; can have claws, fangs, and/or horns of the species; has completely human hand and foot shape; can have a catlike shape to the lips if a cat, can have a beaklike shape to the lips if a bird; usually has human-like breasts and humanlike hair (or hairlike feathers if a bird)

Level #12: Looks completely human with completely human skin, but with the animal’s ears, tail, and sometimes claw, fangs, and/or horns of the species; has a completely human nose; has no semblance of the animal’s muzzle; can have a catlike shape to the lips if a cat or cat-based; ears can have either partially or mostly humanlike position (between human ear position and that of most mammals), a completely humanlike ear position, or ear position mostly or totally like that of the respective species

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2 thoughts on “Guide to the Levels of Animal Anthropomorphism

  1. hai…what a great post. actually now, I am doing my thesis and its about gender in anthropomorphism.
    and I found that your blog its a big help.
    but I wonder where do you get this info.
    is it from a research or you research it by yourself?
    if you reserch it, can you tell me who you are because eventhough its really help me I need a valid references.
    please help me.

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