The Other Species of A Centaur’s Life
If you thought I was done with the monster girls of A Centaur’s Life, well then you would be wrong. There are still a few species worth mentioning like the Goat Folk, Antarcticians, and Amphibian Folk.
The Goat Folk of A Centaur’s Life can be divided into two subgroups, the Fauns and Satyrs. Sadly, the anime does not give the viewer a whole lot of information about the Goat Folk beyond Himeno’s friend Kyuoko being bad at running. And this is presented more as a personal trait of Kyuoko, rather than something that is indicative of Goat Folk in general. Thus, we’ll have to look at the mythological origins of Fauns and Satyrs, which are actually quite different.
In the original Greek myths Satyrs were actually half-human half-horse people with some rather antisocial characteristics. Faun’s appear later in Roman mythology and are half-goat half-human creatures, and were probably derived or influenced by the earlier Greek myths. However, over time the Satyr and Faun mythology seemed to blend together with Satyr’s being the more intellectual of the pair, while the Fauns were the more fun-loving of the pair. Interestingly enough, some of the horse like characteristics were retained by the Satyrs in A Centaur’s Life, as seen below. The Faun is on the left, and the Satyr on the right.
Notice the horse ears and unicorn horn on the Satyr, while the Faun has goat horns. FYI- since the Satyr’s of A Centaur’s Life appear to have more horse like characteristics, they would be more related to Centaurs rather than Goat Folk. Since this is A Centaur’s Life, you are probably wondering where their extra limbs are.
The third set of limbs is indeed present according to the anime, but they are vestigial, which means that they are a small remnant of limbs and are no longer functional. This happens due to the extra limbs no longer being beneficial to the organism, and they slowly shrink over the subsequent generations. This is something that we see in the real world and the best example is the hip bones of whales, which are not very useful to an animal that swims in the ocean.
This explanation makes perfect sense in the real world and in the universe of A Centaur’s Life, but it also causes some problems for the anime. The problem is that the show goes out of its way to discuss that having 6 limbs makes more sense than having 4 limbs due to various benefits. This then begs the question if having 6 limbs was so beneficial, why do the Goat Folk which only have 4 limbs exist?
One more thing
Almost forgot, while most of the Goat Folk of A Centaur’s Life are portrayed with human-like legs, there are a few that exhibit the classic animal-like legs that Satyr’s and Faun’s are known for.
Riri is a young Faun who is a friend of the Chi-chans, who happens to have animal-like legs, like Satyrs and Fauns of Greco-Roman Mythology.
It should be fairly evident that the Fauns legs have a joint that appears to bend backward, opposite of what normal humans have or have an extra joint. In actuality neither option is the case. The knee of a goat or horse works in the same way as a human knee for the most part, including how it bends. The next joint that might look like a second knee is actually the ankle joint, it just looks different because the ankle bones of a goat/horse are much longer than the bones in our own joints. The same goes for the toes as seen below.
To be honest I wasn’t even sure I was going to do a post for the Goat Folk of A Centaur’s Life until I saw a news report about a Filipino boy who had his life radically changed by a hospital Tim Tebow helped to build. The boy, known as Flamingo boy, was born with Genu recurvatum, or backward knees. This was first described in 1822, and not much is known about the condition.
Genu Recurvatum actually refers to a range of motion beyond the normal 0 degrees of motion with the knee fully extended (completely straight). It is linked to a number of different genetic and environmental factors and is in fact more common in women. The Flamingo boy’s case is a rather rare and extreme example of the condition where the knee cap is completely backward. The best course of treatment in this case is surgery, which he thankfully received courtesy of Time Tebow.
By now you probably know what’s coming and that I am going to call Goat Folk busted, but that it is possible that Genu Recurvatum could have inspired at least some part of the Satyr and Faun mythology.
Bonus- Amphibian Folk
The Amphibian Folk only show up in 1 episode of the anime, so there isn’t much to say about them as the anime doesn’t give us much in the way of information about them. What I can say is that they have 6 limbs. The anime mentions that they have issues with dry skin, which makes sense as most amphibians do have moist skin and need to keep it moist in order for it to function properly, because you might not actually know but many frogs actually get about 20% of their oxygen by absorbing it through their skin and this only works when it is moist.
The only other item worth mentioning is that the Amphibian Folk have an issue with dirty hands and are constantly cleaning them or wearing gloves. The anime presents this as an issue with not wanting to spread mucus to other people, but there is actually a health reason here. Amphibians are cold blooded, and logically Amphibian Folk would also be cold blooded. This means that they cannot control/maintain a constant internal temperature without the help of the environment. Warm blooded animals (humans) can control/maintain a constant internal temperature without the help of the environment. One of the major benefits of being able to maintain a constant internal temperature is a resistance to fungal infections. The normal human body temperature is 98.6F (37C), which is above the temperature many fungal species thrive at. What this means for amphibians is that they are more susceptible to fungal infections, and many species of amphibians around the world are being threatened by fungal infections. So the Amphibian Folk would want to wear gloves to avoid contacting the fungus that grows on human skin as part of the normal human biome.