Scientists have begun work genetically modifying possums in order to study their biology.
The possum genome is completely sequenced, and as the likely ancestor of all marsupials they are a good basis for learning about the strange ass group.
Proof of concept was altering their genes to produce albino possums which passed on their albinism reliably.
If you wanted a quick and plausible origin to Fluffies you can either set the “modern day” in the latter half of this century or just say in Fluffverse genetic experimentation was at this point in the 80’s when MLP came out as the divergent point or something. Just say the project split between research, and another group splicing shit into them to make hybrids which wound up with Hasbio somehow. Possibly through a parent company that was doung privatized research or something.
Using possums as the start to the process that ended up as Fluffies provides:
- Support for the plausibility of aggression towards them, as well as consumption of Fluffy meat. People really hate possums, except as food in rural areas.
- Ever seen a fat possum? Their eyes bulge because they get fatty depositd behind their eyeballs. People love how cute it is.
- Possums are “aggressive” with a strong show of force that is backed up by nothing. They act like they’re going to bite but don’t.
- Back carrying of infants.
- Possums have strong fucking immune systems. Even shit they can catch oftentimes is something they carry but do not suffer from. The reason is their low body temperature, which can explain why Fluffy fluff is ineffective at protecting them once you Frankenstein in some shit that makes their average body temperature both too low and too high for their body functions. This could explain how Fluffies can at least keep a stable population as ferals, since they occupy the niches possums have of being generally unafraid to eat basically anything including shit that other animals view as dangerous.
- Mothers can and will abandon their young, usually one, both accidentally and intentionally as a distraction for escape.
- They will readily resort to cannibalism. Both of their young and adults. Its rare, but they will prioritize their own survival above all others.
- Very weak and underdeveloped young.
- Possums have toebeans. Modify them to have one giant toebean which envelops the pawbones and you have a flexing marshmallow/leathery digit that resembles a hoof.
- A possum body gives that gerbil/rat look.
- Fluffies are popular with Russians and Spanish speakers, but the idea is generally grounded in America. 1700’s biologists from Europe studying New World animals called the possum “the most American animal” and found it a point of fascination. Which usually meant torment and dissection. Hell, Fluffies spreading even works as a metaphor for American culture and values.
- Possums emit a musk when they lose consciousness that smells like something severely decayed and diseased. This could be why their shit smells awful regardless of diet in some canons if the gland is simply triggered by bowel movements due to the smaller nature of the Fluffy and mixes in all feces, or why only some Fluffies smell horrible and others do not. Or ones with frequent diarrhea do not smell as bad overall. Why the pampered and happy or content ones smell better than those who are afraid, stressed, or angry all the time.
However, this has issues too. Of course Fluffies are genetic chimeras relying on “fantasy pretending to be science” ideas, so anything can be handwaved as “that’s the cricket and pigeon DNA that was spliced in” or “programming provided a decent behavioral startup package” or “that’s the magic that the witch on the dev team used”, but the point of referencing real or realistic science is to reduce the handwaving or make it far less vigorous.
- Possums lack umbilical cords. All Fluffy art depicts, and in fact relies on, them existing. Genetic editing could change that, and there never really has been a decent explanation fir how they can feel each fetus developing from the very second the fertilized cell hits the wall and starts developing. Nor how that only takes seconds or minutes after coitus. No such thing exists in nature as far as we are aware, which means whatever that in has to be engineered from the ground up somehow, meaning no matter what their base animal it had to be introduced anyway.
- Possums are immune to most toxins. Though this also helps explain Fluffy survival, Abuse stories do enjoy “Fluffy ate poison” or “Fluffy got a bee sting” or “Fluffy got a snake bite” or even “Fluffy has such a weak constitution that a decimal ph imbalance in drinking water makes Fluffy drown”. While it could have been removed, or maybe exists only in breeds that succeed longterm as ferals and has been selected out in domestics, its still a concern.
- Possums are highly successful at gathering food, due to the aforementioned ability to eat anything with little to no fear of disease, poisoning, or deadly parasites. People keep the ferals around specifically because they’ll fill up on slugs and leave your plants alone. Again, may explain why ferals can thrive when runaway domestics starve. But the fact a Fluffy based on a possum would fill up on snails and cockroaches and leave flowers and garden plants alone ruins lawn invasion stories, unless falling back on them just choosing plants over their dietary fulfilling alternatives due to taste or programming. Or just losing the trait in their genesis.
- Possums can and will climb. Even without claws, Fluffies should have that desire. Some works show them enjoying being “king of the mountain”, but otherwise this trait seems lost along with the anatomy that enables it. Unless “good uppies” is that.
- Possums have almost no ability to fight. They put up a fiercely aggressive display, but basically can’t fight. They either lose consciousness when their adrenaline hits a certain level as involuntary playing dead, or they flee. While this works for humans it reduces the defiance needed for invasions, and all but eliminates Helgremlin traits beyond being loud and demanding. The inability to fight each other is the biggest issue. Similarly, they do not rape.
- They’re loners by nature. While mothers and infants are clingy, all other possums will avoid each other outside of breeding. For Fluffies the clinginess seems instinctual beyond even programming. This would have to be a major modification.
- Pouch. Nipples in pouch. Thirteen nipples usually, in a circle formation. Removing the pouch could explain why female teats are hairless and males have fluff over theirs, but you’d be doing so much tit gene altering that you’d be just redoing them from the ground up. In that case why only two like a horse, and why are their teats always full instead of flat when not lactating or saggy only after their first birth?
- PETA doesn’t give much of a shit about possums. They complain, but PETA goes after rodeos that torment and kill bulls. Not so much events where baby possums are deep fried alive.
- Possums cannot voluntarily control their musk gland. It doesn’t have infinite ammo, and the smell lingers on the possum. Even if it was able to be controlled, whatever they hit isn’t going to lose its odor after merely washing it. People and objects that get sorry poopies will need serious cleaning. Anyone who owns a Hellgremlin or is an Abuser will be immediately identifiable unless they spend half their time cleaning or never conduct impromptu abuse. People on the streets who deal with a Smarty will absolutely have their day ruined, and Fluffies in every alley will absolutely ruin the smell of the city. All that odor escapes when they die too, and trust me when I say biohazard bags in trash bins aren’t going to do much. Also, weaponizing it means Fluffies who get sorry spray will stink for ages, and given many portrayals will show a good mother immediately murdering her offspring cheerfully or a good father raping his babies all based on smell, then any Fluffy who gets into a fight should have a day or two of being treated like a Poopie and being subject to insults, beatings, rape, and cannibalism; even if it was the Smarty who took a sorry blast from the Poopie. So you’d need to splice in an animal that can control its musk blasting and refills it quickly like a mustelid like the badger, and stay consistent in Fluffies being less obedient to their sense of smell or any Fluffy regardless of stature being subject to the herd’s wrath should they get in a fight.
Just some thoughts.