Over the holidays I re-read the Animorphs series, and I really enjoyed it. I liked its character work, its depiction of the psychological effects of war, its musings on morality, and generally the coolness of aliens and people turning into animals. I am of the opinion that the Animorphs series would make a nice cartoon adaptation, and that The Hork-Bajir Chronicles is a moving love story. But that’s a post for another time.
A chance Google Image search of “Andalite” led me to discover a bunch of fanart, which spurred my curiosity into imagining Andalite biology. I went a bit overboard imagining the physiology of their various organ systems, challenging myself not to just copy and paste Earth patterns, but to make them truly alien. In the following series of posts, allow me to indulge in presenting my ideas, despite my horrid art skills (seriously, you have been warned).
Note: the fictional characters and alien races are the creation of the author, K. A. Applegate, and all rights belong to her. All my drawings are hypothetical, non-canon, and meant as fair use.
Below are three images, representing an unimaginative body plan. In the center, the Andalite in the flesh. On the right, the skeleton, which is literally a human torso stuck on where a deer’s neck should be, with a long tail that has a scythe blade at the end. Note the ribs where you’d expect them to be. Note the limbs have the Earth pattern of one bone for the humerus/femur, two bones for the forearm/shin, and multiple bones for the wrists/ankles/digits. Also note the hind limbs have kneecaps and heel bones. And finally, while I can’t draw pelvises for my life, imagine they’re the human pelvis for the middle limbs, and the deer pelvis for the hind limbs.
On the left, the various organ systems, basically where you’d expect them if this were a mammal. The brain connects to the eyes and ears and extends into a spinal cord. The airway bifurcates into the two lungs and branches into millions of microscopic alveoli. The heart sits on the left side between the lungs, sending its arteries where you’d expect them. There’s even a thyroid gland on the neck!. The gastrointestinal tract is the only anomaly, with esophagi coming from the legs, but otherwise you have the liver (L), stomach (S), and intestines (I) where you’d expect them (there’s another S for spleen, on the Andalite’s left side). The kidneys and reproductive organs, too, are where you’d expect them.
In short, typical, boring Earth stuff. But why limit ourselves to that? Let’s get creative!
(To be continued…)