Many furries feel a sense of attachment to their particular fursona species,1 and in many instances believe, often truthfully so, that they know more about their species than the average individual does (e.g., researching the species, spending time learning their habits, interacting with animals). Given that many furries would be expected to have knowledge about their own fursona species, and given that furries spend time with other furries who presumably know a significant amount about their own fursona species, we tested whether furries know more about animals than the average. We tested this with a 33-item trivia quiz about general animal knowledge.2
The quiz was marked such that 1 point was given for each correct answer, a point subtracted for each incorrect answer, and a score of “0” was given for an answer of “I don’t know.” As predicted, furries scored significantly higher than the sample of the general population (11.5 vs. 8.9). Furries out-scored non-furries on 30 out of 33 of the test items.
In general, the data provide the first evidence that furries do, indeed, have a greater knowledge about animals, as a group, than the general population. Whether it’s the case that participation in the fandom increases one’s knowledge about animals, or whether those with greater knowledge of animals are drawn to the furry fandom, is a question which may be answered through longitudinal research. The data are consistent with findings that furries are also better than non-furries at recognizing non-human faces (e.g., fursuits, anthropomorphic animal characters), suggesting that there may be cognitive mechanisms underlying these effects.