Andalite Picture

The Andalites are fictional aliens from the book series and TV series Animorphs. Andalites resemble centaurs of Greek mythology, with a lower body similar to a horse and a torso similar to a human. The two arms on their upper bodies are relatively weak by human standards, and end with seven-fingered hands. Andalites are incredibly agile on their four hooved legs. Their entire bodies are covered in fur, the males blue and tan in color while the females have been depicted as being purple.

The head of an Andalite has a pair of almond-shaped eyes, as well as a second pair of "stalk-eyes" mounted on two thick stalks that rise from the top of their heads, giving them a 360-degree range of vision. The main eyes are glittery green or gold in color. Their sense of sight is similar to that of humans, with the stalk eyes capable of seeing a slightly wider spectrum of light wavelengths.

A notable facial feature is the lack of a mouth. Andalites feed by crushing grass beneath their hooves, absorbing the nutrients from the plants, and communicate by means of thought-speech, a kind of telepathy. In the place where a human nose would be located, Andalites possess three vertical slits, allowing them to breathe. They have two hearts, giving them physical speed and endurance beyond what a human can achieve. An Andalite's normal body temperature (in Fahrenheit) is 91.3 degrees.

Andalites also possess an organ in the back of their head called the Tria gland. The Tria gland keeps disease organisms away from the rest of the body. More specifically, the Tria gland is in the back of the head, even with the bottom of the ears, in the dead center. Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill needed his removed due to inflammation in book #29, The Sickness.

Andalites evolved as prey animals, but possess a formidable defense in the form of the single, scythe-shaped blade at the end of their long tails. The female tail blade is noticeably smaller than that of the male, and more similar to a scalpel than a blade. The bladed tail is long enough to reach well in front of the Andalite, allowing them to strike quickly and deeply at an opponent. A common Andalite battle technique is to turn the blade flat against their target at the last possible instant, delivering a blow that renders the opponent unconscious rather than fatally cutting them.

The Andalite tail is also an important part of their culture, and is frequently referenced in poetry and rituals. For example, the word shorm comes from the Andalite word for 'tail-blade', and is used to describe a fellow Andalite who could be trusted to place his tail-blade at one's own throat without feeling threatened; essentially, a best friend
[edit] Behavior and Evolution

Andalites are grazers, but are capable of accidentally absorbing small animals, such as worms and snails when stepped on. They were originally herd animals, and are accustomed to living on open plains. Because of this, claustrophobia is a deeply ingrained trait in Andalites, and they loathe enclosed spaces.

It is noted that Andalites are a watchful species and can go for days without sleeping. When they do sleep it is usually standing up and with one stalk eye open.

At some point in their development, the Andalites began a transition away from being herd animals, and formed small groups, similar to families. Soon, families joined together, forming small communities. As society advanced, the communities grew closer and closer in proximity until they had developed dense urban environments. Eventually, the Andalites moved away from this pattern of society, favoring separation of the communities into small, family based 'scoops.' This has resulted in a sort of agricultural, farmer society despite the advanced technology the Andalites have developed, including faster-than-light travel and the ability to morph. The Andalite homeworld does maintain three spaceports that retain the urban model of development.
[edit] Homeworld

The Andalite homeworld is vaguely described in various books in the Animorphs series. The number of suns in the Andalite star system is never specified, but the stars are always referred to in the plural sense. On one occasion, Ax said that the Andalite homeworld once orbited two different stars millions of years in the past before one of them went nova, the shock wave having unspecified results on the planet's orbit. The Andalite homeworld has four moons, at least two of which are visible from the planet's surface at any given time. The planet's sky is colored red and gold. In The Predator, Ax specifies that the Andalite homeworld is 82 light-years away from Earth.

While the Andalite homeworld does not boast the sheer number and variety of organisms that Earth does, there are many interesting plant and animal species. The Kafit bird, for example, is one of only three bird species indigenous to the Andalite homeworld. It is a predatory bird, with three pairs of wings and a long, sharp beak. It uses its spear-like beak and speed to spear its prey. Although this behavior is frowned upon, Andalite arisths often morph into Kafit birds for amusement.

Andalite plant life is quite remarkable with grasses in shades of green, blue, and even red. Some species of old growth tree on the planet appear to have a vague intelligence and can use very limited telepathy, though this is usually limited to acknowledgment of another's presence and a return and recognition of basic emotions; it is extremely rare and difficult for a tree on the Andalite homeworld to form even a single thought-speech word, as it purportedly can take days for the few who can. An Andalite will form a special bond with a certain tree, which becomes the Andalite's Garibah ('Guide Tree').
[edit] Technology

The Andalites are very scientifically oriented race, and boast a vast knowledge of the universe and highly advanced technology. A notable development is Zero-Space technology, which allows Andalite vessels equipped with "Z-space" engines to enter the region of Zero or Z-space, described as an entirely blank, void, white space, where real-space limitations on faster-than-light travel do not exist. Z-space transponder technology also takes advantage of this 'dimension' by shortening the travel time of messages through space, an advanced form of radio communication.

Andalite starship technology has developed a wide variety of vessels, including their standard Tail-fighter starfighter, a small, elongated craft equipped with twin, stubby wings tipped by engines, and a Shredder particle weapon slung over the top of the crew cabin on the end of an extension fashioned to mimic the raised Andalite tail. The vast Dome Ships are the primary battleships of the Andalite space fleet, transporting starfighters and Andalite warriors to war zones. The ship is shaped like a long rod, with engine pods at one end, and a massive, clear dome covering a circular platform centered on the other end. This 'dome' portion sustains an entire ecosphere in its interior, complete with atmosphere, grass, and water, designed to sustain Andalites while they travel through space. Andalites describe it as "taking a piece of their world with them wherever they go", much to the chagrin of the Yeerk Empire. The ship's hangar bays can host a full complement of fighters, and a single Dome Ship usually arrives at a battle with an occasional deployment of a second, and rarely accompanied by a third. The Dome Ship shredders are rumored to be powerful enough to destroy a moon the size of Earth's. Dome Ships are slow to maneuver, and the dome portion must be temporarily de-coupled from the rest of the ship in order for all its shredders to be turned towards a target, and even then the ship is slow to turn its guns onto its targets. This weakness was exploited by Visser Three, enabling his Blade Ship to destroy the Dome Ship GalaxyTree in Earth orbit.

One of the more recently developed and most advanced Andalite technologies is their morphing technology. This allows Andalites to transform into any being whose DNA pattern can be absorbed through touch, for up to two hours at a time. This provides an effective weapon against the Yeerks, allowing them to transform into dangerous creatures in battle, and spy and infiltrate Yeerk facilities and organizations. Surpassing the two-hour time limit carries the penalty of leaving the Andalite trapped in the morph permanently, his own DNA lost. This is called a becoming a nothlit. Tobias became a nothlit in the first book, The Invasion. The morphing technology is closely guarded, and no non-Andalite had ever possessed the ability besides Visser Three (who had an Andalite host body) and the five human Animorphs, who were given the technology by Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul using an Escafil device. Later on, this technology is stolen from the Animorphs by the Yeerks, after the Animorphs increase their numbers substantially, and while they attempt to recruit still more potentials.

Fission and fusion is not apparently used by Andalites extensively, since it has been stated that they use it in children's toys.
[edit] Interspecies Relations

Andalites have varied relations with many different species outside their planet. They are generally known to be a helpful, friendly race, spreading enlightenment and aid wherever possible. However, an example that mars their reputation and simultaneously jades many Andalites to their own culture as well as that of outside species, is Seerow's Kindness, named after Prince Seerow, one of the first Andalites to be stationed on the homeworld of a newly discovered species, the Yeerks.

In their natural state, the Yeerks are blind, defenseless slugs that are, however, capable of entering the brains of other species, interfacing with their host's mind, and then controlling the creature. When the Andalites arrived, the Yeerks had already taken a clumsy, weak race known as the Gedds as their hosts. Despite this, most of them never became aware of anything beyond the small, natural pools of their homeworld. Seerow felt sorry for the Yeerks, and taught them the technology they needed to travel beyond their world, and showed them the stars. He built them portable Kandronas, devices mimicking the rays of the Yeerk sun, allowing them to leave the confines of their world.

In return for Seerow's aid, the Yeerks betrayed the Andalites, attacking their outpost and slaughtering the minimal guarding force (who had been instructed by Seerow not to fire on any Gedds), and stole the Andalite fighters that were on the ground, escaping into space, but not before circling around to the far side of the planet to bring their fellow Yeerks aboard. Then, the Andalite ships, loaded with numerous pools full of Yeerks, left the homeworld, aiming to conquer the galaxy with the technology that Seerow had given them.

Ever since, the Andalites have fought against the Yeerks, trying to prevent them from taking over more innocent worlds. The Yeerks have already taken over numerous species, including the cannibalistic Taxxons, who voluntarily submitted to the Yeerks, and their ironically herbivorous shock-troops, the Hork-Bajir. These species were, however, slow to reproduce and insufficient for the massive number of Yeerks that needed hosts. There have also been many failures like the Hawjawbrans, who couldn't be infested because their brain is spread out throughout their body; the Yeerk's eventual goal was to fully infest Class 4 and Class 5 races (Andalites and humans, respectively), which would give them the troops they needed to take over more worlds and expand their empire. Their ultimate prize would be the Andalites, for whom the Yeerks had developed a deep hatred, despite the species' initial kindness towards them.

The Andalites are also enemies of the Kelbrid. The two species have a strict treaty, whereby neither can enter the other's space; the exact history of their relations is mysterious, however, especially considering neither side actually knows anything about the other, including what they look like.
[edit] Culture and Government

The Andalite government, headed by the Electorate, functions on pillars of honor, respect, pride in culture as well as self. However, these noble characteristics are accompanied by others that seem surprisingly backwards in the eyes of species they consider evolutionarily inferior: arrogance, inflexibility, sexism, and an atrocious attitude towards the disabled, whom they label vecols and treat as outcasts.

Although males and females have a higher societal equality in Andalite society than they did in Earth's past, gender roles are nevertheless strictly defined, with males strongly encouraged to enter the Andalite military, while the females remain in civilian, vocational roles, specializing themselves in arts and pure sciences. Andalite recreation includes a sport called driftball, as well as tail-fighting for sport.

Working down the chain of command from the Electorate are the Princes, the basic, personal leadership role. Every warrior must have a prince, and is expected to report only to that one Prince. A Prince will have one or more arisths, or cadets, under him. According to Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, in Andalite culture, every individual is supposed to be subordinate to another, with the Electorate in turn being chosen by the people. Even military matters are controlled by the public, as warriors can present a "challenge" to any action a superior wishes to make, which would result in a trial where the people decide the outcome. However, during the war with the Yeerks, the Electorate became increasingly deaf and blind to the war, and independent Princes began to take direct control of the entire war effort. Prince Alloran-Semitur-Corass attempted to wipe out the entire Hork-Bajir race in order to eliminate the Yeerk's main troops with a quantum virus, and the Andalite military had been ready to obliterate the human population through a 'Quarantine' that would have wiped out almost the entire human population in order to starve the Yeerk empire of hosts.

The Andalite civilian government is rarely referred to, if it even exists; it is known that the military is run by the Andalite High Command, the members of whom are called "Great Leaders." A "Council" is also mentioned, but it is unclear if this is military or not.

The Andalite culture is very self-centered on the fact that Andalite themselves are the best race in the universe because of their technologies. Due to the law of Seerow's kindness, Andalites are not allowed to give other species their technologies. They are also very proud and will condemn anyone (even their own people) if any disgraced acts are committed. The best known taboo status Andalite was war prince Alloran-Semitur-Corrass during his infestation by Visser Three. Alloran was the only Andalite-controller in existence and deemed him the title of "The Abomination".

It must be noted that the vast majority of the Andalites encountered over the course of the series are from the military, and once the war ends, Marco notes that Andalite civilian tourists are much less arrogant and irritable than their military counterparts.
[edit] Language and Terminology
Main article: Andalite terminology
[edit] Naming

Andalite names are three words long and hyphenated; for example, Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul. The first name is the given name. When Ax gives his parents' names in The Alien, it is revealed that his father's second name is "Sirinial", the same as Elfangor's, while his mother's second name is "Esgarrouth", Ax's own second name; this implies that the second name is a sort of family name. The purpose of the third name is unknown.

It is notable that many Andalites seem to share names, even when they are not related; for example, an Andalite not related to Ax had the third name "Esgarrouth", and so forth. It is possible that names are also not restricted by gender, as "Estrid" as been seen as the first name of a female Andalite and as the second name of a male.

"Ax" is a shortened form of the name Aximili; this shortening is not Andalite in origin, but was devised by the human Animorphs, who found "Aximili" too hard to pronounce. Ax's father calls him "Aximili-kala" as a pet name; the meaning of this unknown.

In The Ellimist Chronicles, when the Ellimist visits the primitive ancestors of modern Andalites, names were apparently limited to terms such as Tree, Water, or Star. As a result, many Andalites had the same name.
[edit] Rituals

Rituals are very important to the Andalites. They have small rituals, which mostly involve reciting prayer-like words, at certain events. There is a morning ritual, a ritual for children, a ritual for dying in battle, and a ritual for avenging one who has died.

Morning Ritual

* <From the water that gave birth to us [dip right forehoof in water]. From the grass that feeds us [crush grass under same hoof]. For the freedom that unites us [spread arms wide]. We rise to the stars [look with all 4 eyes at rising sun]. Freedom is my only cause. Duty to the people, my only guide. Obedience to my prince, my only glory. The destruction of my enemies, my most solemn vow. I, [name], Andalite warrior/cadet, offer my life [assume stance and raise tail blade to throat].>

Evening Ritual

* <From the rising of the sun to the setting, to its rising again, we place what is hard to endure with what is sweet to remember and find peace.>

Ritual of Death

* I am the servant of the people. I am the servant of my prince. I am the servant of honor. My life is not my own, when the people have need of it. My life is given for the people, for my prince, and for my honor.

[edit] Time

Andalites use a different calendar than humans, although it still is in years (The Hork-Bajir Chronicles gives the Andalite date). Andalite years are in ten 'periods' or months, and are given like this: 7544.2. One Andalite year is equal to 84 Earth months, or about 8½ Yeerk cycles; as a result, K.A. Applegate has stated that Ax is only three or four Andalite years old, though this is equivalent to the ages of the other Animorphs.

Andalites have a natural internal clock, and know exactly when 2 hours have passed - as reflected by their morphing technology.
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