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Werebeasts are a type of monster present in the Monster High universe. They are living monsters that possess both human and animal qualities.
Therianthropy refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals. Therianthropes are said to change forms via shapeshifting. Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings.
Werebeasts in Fiction
Werebeasts are used in a number of mythologies all over the world.
Some old Norse believed that berserkers could change into a partial beast form in battle if they ever needed to.
Werewolves are the one of the biggest icons in the horror industry. However the first movie feature an anthropomorphic werewolf was the Werewolf of London, from 1935. The 1941 film, The Wolf Man, is what launched Werewolves into popularity, doing much of what Dracula did for Vampires.
There have been two major descriptions for werebeasts, those who are completely human and transform into animals, and those which are anthropomorhic, or human with animal qualities (and vice-versa).
Werebeasts in the Monster High franchise are anthropomorphic creatures who do not transform (Until "Welcome to Monster High", they are finally for the first time shown to transform). Clawdeen Wolf is the series' featured werewolf character, as well as her siblings Clawdia Wolf, Clawd Wolf, and Howleen Wolf, and friends Romulus, Dougey and Brocko. They are for the most part human, with subtle animal qualities such as canine ears and fangs. (But they might be just anthropomorphic wolves and not humans). A key feature in their monster heritage is their rapid hair growth, which is similar to fur, much to Clawdeen's displeasure, as she has to shave 2-3 times a day.
Clawdeen, Clawd, Clawdia and Howleen may or may not be children of the werewolf seen in Universal's 1941 film The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr. The Wolf Man story is a familiar werewolf tale: a man is bitten by another werewolf, and is cursed with transformation each month on the night of the full moon. If so, they are also the children of Clawdeen's mother.
Clawdeen shares several characteristics with the Lon Chaney, Jr. character, including canine characteristics such as fur and claws. Werewolves have a strong sense of smell, which is referred to as "the nose knows", which was said by Clawdeen in "Fashion Emergency", Clawd in "Scaris: City of Frights", and Howleen in Twyla's 13 Wishes diary.
She also has trouble controlling her inner wolf when she sees a full moon, or a full moon-like object such as a spotlight.
Toralei Stripe, Meowlody, Purrsephone, Catrine DeMew and Catty Noir are werecats, which are much more animal like than their canine monster counterparts. Unlike Werewolves, they seem to be covered in fur, have tails, and even have cat-like noses in the webisodes. When Toralei was shown as a baby, she was literally just a kitten with human-like hair. Possible werecats include: the animal girl, catgirls and the catboys.
In "The Nine Lives of Toralei", there were four weredogs: a bulldog, a purple poodle and two unknown type of dogs.