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Therian in the English language has two distinct definitions:

  • In taxonomy, the term refers to a member of the Mammalia subclass Theria, consisting of marsupial and placental mammals.
  • A therian may also be a member of the contemporary subculture of therianthropy, which is based on a spiritual and/or psychological identification with animals.
  • Additionally, in the metaphysics and occult community, Therian could refer to a person in the Otherkin community that has some animalistic behaviors or is spiritually close to the animal. Some state they can shape shift during an out of body expedience or mentally (also referred to as a mental shift).