Hey, Greeny! I found a few informative forum threads about the scrapped characters Fang and Bean that you will probably be interested in. The first is on SSMB and titled Bean Is NOT A Duck and the opening post on that thread links to two places on the Sonic Retro forums: Fang - Half Wolf, Half Jerboa and the other is Bean & Bark Fighters Megamix profiles. It turns out language barriers and translation issues have caused misconceptions about Fang and Beans' species. Pretty shocking isn't it?
Whoa! I never knew that!
Though Bean’s pecking attacks in Fighters make more sense now we know he’s a Woodpecker.