1) Where did your animal people come from? And are these humanoid animals or just intelligent near quadrapedal animals with claws/psuedo hands?
They are a creation of the Gods, a hybrid so to speak. They are a humanoid animal. In response to Minsk, similar to werea-animals in appearance, yet not containing a genetic, viral, or magical disease of any kind that others can contract. They are born and raised in their humanoid-animal form.
1b) Are these Humans in fur suits or really animals/ alien species.
They are an animal appearing humanoid. I don;t want to use the term creature for the simple reason that creatures bring to mind animalistic and unintelligent creatures. They are intelligent like the other races with a culture and society all of their own.
2) If they came from people, would they not inherit that same culture.
They do not come from people, but are born as their own culture. They are all isolated from the normal and average races by continental barriers or mountains and deserts, yet live in a thriving part of the continent normally. Having farms, cattle, cities, etc.
3) If they came from people a long long time ago, would they not develop cultures suitable to their environment (modified for their mental morphology of course).
Not to continue with the, 'they are their own people'. But they have developed a culture all of their own. Their society and government are all different as are their beliefs. While they worship Gods with different names, they are still the worldly Gods seen by other cultures and races.
4) How much in the way of biologica/ animal abilties do they have?
Strength and speed would be a big advantage. But it would soley be based on the individual race. I am thinking that while each race would be physically stronger than an average human, as are some of the other player races, they have a diversity all of their own. One race will have a dominant attribute of strength, where another will be more mentally intelligent. I am not looking at any sort of night vision or heat vision or anything of that nature. If I do, then only the possibility of a minor ability to see in the dark, but with a small light source, the moon for example.
Climbing trees will be as a normal humanoid, with the slight advantage of having sharper claw like fingers. In the case of the wolf race, thinking the advantage of being stronger physically. The lion race, thinking a higher and superior endurance. The panther race, thinking a auperior agility and quickness. The jackal race, I'm really at a loss for what they could have different than the others. The lizard race, while they are similar to their more intelligent cousins who I have already detailed out, I would think they could have very minor camoflauge advantages. Nothing spectacular, but making them a little harder to see or track.
The types of cultures I am thinking of are all rough ideas and will be based losely on the real earth cultures. For instance, while the Wolven race (named differently due to Palladiums Wolven race) will be based off of the Mongols, their culture will adapt to be able to survive more then the few decades that Chingas Chan ruled his mighty barbarian empire. The Lion race will be based off of an asian influence, not Japanese, not Chinese, but loosely based off of the type of society.
I am not basing these off as an experiement gone arwy but as a natural, or in the case of the Gods, a helping hand in evolution. This would also give the possibility of an alternate campaign setting of the PC's being these animal creatures as opposed to the more conventional races. But that is further in the works.
I hope that cleared up your questions, as this is just a fleshing out session to get possible ideas. I want to keep them in the same format as I described my other races, but with Captain Penguin's comment on needing more information I need a helping idea.