I think the first time we see an animal or supposedly living being created by a spell in Harry Potter is when Harry and his friends are in the Transfigurations class and Professor McGonagall turns her desk into a pig and back into a desk. There's also a reference, in the same scene, that Harry realizes it'll be a while before the students are changing furniture into animals.
I don't remember reading anything in the books (but a few of mine have been loaned out and haven't come back for months and months!), but wondered if there was anything elsewhere, from JKR or other somewhat authoritative sources about whether animals created by transfigurations or by other spells are actually alive.
Are they full biologically complete versions of the animals? If so, do they have the same sense of awareness of an authentic version of the same animal?
I can't remember whether or not I read somewhere that spells can't create life. If that is the case, then what drives the behavior in an animal created by a spell?