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Notes (2017)[edit]

Polydactyly is relatively common in cats because of inbreeding and fairly high exposure to environmental teratogens.
Aslan are not Terran life forms in the slightest, and their genetic variance cannot necessarily be measured or otherwise understood by Terran standards.
Aslan, as Marc has most recently suggested through that edited image, ARE five digited. The fifth is the dewclaw, NOT a fourth finger.
Hands and feet are certainly permitted to evolve differently. They have different purposes.  The dewclaw equivalent on the legs may have retreated somewhat and can be found in a position similar to where Maks put the arm dewclaw in his attempt. It may be subject to youthful surgical removal as a claw halfway up the foreleg could easily get in the way of clothes.  Certain clans might be known for not removing it.
The hand dewclaw is, in contrast, too intertwined with the fingers, and is also too intertwined with tradition.  As such, the Aslan work with it and around it as necessary.
The dewclaw should have no more reach than the fingernails, and probably a bit less. It is something that could and should be subject to some genetic variation, personal preference, and old dueling accidents.
So the old description of the centered thumb is part of the problem?  Or was the idea that the dewclaw was the vestigial fifth digit?  Aslan were described with only four digits per hand, plus dewclaw. 
- Comments from a wise man.

After all, Aslan are not felis cattus xenomorphii.  They're not cats.  "Dewclaw" could be a misnomer.  It might be correct terminology, but it might not.
- Comments from Rye-man.

Start with JTAS 7, illustrated by the Keiths. Next, the first illustration in CT Alien Module 1. Next, bottom of column 2, AM1.
- Comments from Labarenu.

Is the dewclaw a large horn, or a flatish blade-like claw? With the latter, it might simply only deploy on a closed paw, and it acts a second blade under an outstretched thumb. : It won't be useful for anything other than cutting and killing. I'm imagining a pocket in the hand between palm and thumb, and when you close your paw in a certain way, it can be pushed out.
With the former, I just can't imagine how a paw pad develops to push such a bone without some secondary muscles for it alone. The previous descriptions wouldn't be enough to satisfy imaginations. However, such a horn could be used if muscularly independent of thumb to take out corks and depending on its thickness and durability, it could be used to apply some leverage. This one really doesn't hide, it's always protruding.
I know for the Aslan wiki page, it described the dewclaw occupying the space between thumb and inner palm.
My only concern is "is it a digit or a horn?" Because it seems like it should be rigid and inflexible to be anything useful, but them depending on how far it extends past the thumb, it might actually be alright to be like "a finger."
- Comments from Archangel.

Smelchak Notes (2017)[edit]

Traveller Guide to Illustrating Aslan (not official) Last updated: 23 February 2017b (Maksim-Smelchak)

Aslan Overview:
  • The Aslan are classic sci-fi “cat men” or “lion men,” the kind that have their origins in Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.
  • They are definite humanoids with a body plan or morphology very close to human beings.
  • Illustrations have varied over the years with the Keith Brothers setting the standard.
  • The one big gripe about Aslan art is that the hands are done incorrectly. Aslan have a dewclaw, a sort of switchblade, jackknife kind of claw in their hands.
  • The rest is fairly standard with human-like proportions and limbs including a tail.
  • Most write-ups depict them as taller than human baseline height, but not giants. More like NBA basketball players.
  • Aslan must have different body shapes (thin, fat, chubby, obese, average, etc.), but they are almost never portrayed with extra weight.


General Anatomy / Morphology (body plan):


  • Bilateral symmetry (2-ial)
  • Tetrapod (4-ped)  Two limbs used for manipulation "arms"
  • Two limbs used for locomotion (biped) "legs"
  • Tail

  Body consists of three segments:

1. Head with sensors and multiple-use orifice (consumption, communication, and respiration)
2. Torso with manipulatory limbs
3. Abdomen with locomotor limbs and tail


Aslan Head

The Aslan head is generally oval in shape and of the same basic features as a human head: neck, two eyes, nose, ears, mouth, etc.

  • Aslan are usually depicted with a snout and a feline-like nose, but not a pronounced snout. Not a flattish pug snout nor an elongated jackal-like one either. Somewhere inbetween. Cat-like nose.
  • Ears are generally depicted as feline-like or elfin, with large points and small tufts of hair at the top of the ear.
  • Eyes are usually depicted as human-like. Eyebrows are bushy, but not Soviet general.
  • The mouth is of human proportion with fangs, but not sabertooth tiger teeth. The fangs fit within the mouth. Obligate carnivores with some small capacity for omnivory.
  • Aslan are very often depicted with bushy face hair, often walrus-like mustaches that cover more than the upper lip. The Keith Brothers loved that look.
  • Hair is usually depicted as mane-like rather than appearing like human hairstyles.


Aslan Upper Torso & Arms

Aslan arms are of human proportion and so are their upper torsos.

  • Aslan female have breasts are usually depicted as having two human-style, but four to six would probably make more sense. No established conventions for this.


Aslan Hands & Dewclaws

Hands are probably of human dimension and proportion with the exception of the infamous dewclaw.

  • The dewclaw has few correct illustrations. Think of it like a house cat claw, retractable to a degree and a very vicious weapon.
  • The idea of a dew claw, is that if it becomes snagged in an enemy & you 'lose it' during combat, you don't lose a whole digit. A dewclaw is a kind of floating claw attached with cartridge and sinew, they re-grow if they are anything like real claws. Aslan are organic so the positioning of the claw can be anywhere from pride clan to pride clan and male to male.  Mostly I imagine they are at the base & slightly to one side of the thumb, so the thumb can be tucked out of the way but also offers strength to the grounding of the claw. Hence the claw being depicted in the centre of the palm and at at the base of the thumb.
  • The Aslan were originally described with three fingers and a centrally opposable thumb.
  • I have never seen the number of fingers specified, but they must have four fingers and a thumb. Some art shows differently.


Aslan Lower Torso

The lower torso AKA abdomen if also of human proportions and general appearance.

  • Gender ratios are tagged at about three females to one male and all of the literature talks about their gender customs.
  • It can be presumed that they have human-like productive organs.
  • If they have mammaries, they must give milk to their newborn.


Aslan Legs & Feet

There isn’t a set consensus for the legs and feet of an Aslan.

  • Some illustrations show them with human like legs, hinge joints with a human-like knee.
  • Others show them with feline hind legs, bent like Terran cats.
  • Most show Aslan feet as in digitigrade, or lifeforms that walk on their toes, not the balls of their feet like humans.
  • It is unknown whether Aslan have a dewclaw on their feet as well. Probably not. Do their toes have retractable claws? Probably.