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In the very first Animorphs book, the five human kids (Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie, and Tobias) gain morphing powers from Prince Elfangor before his death. These powers were created by Andalites and apparently normally restricted only to them, since the Animorphs are always assumed to be Andalites by the Yeerks. But how restricted are the morphing powers really?

How many non-Andalites have ever been given morphing abilities?


Let's not count Visser Three, since he's a Yeerk in an Andalite body. It was the Andalite (Alloran-Semitur-Corass?) who was originally given the ability, not the Yeerk inside his head.

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Potentially millions of others have been given morphing abilities, but most known examples didn't retain the ability. Here there be spoilers.

Two animals also managed to obtain morphing ability in Book 39, The Hidden. Aka, an African cape buffalo, and the fire ant nicknamed Cassie-Ant both managed to obtain morphing and human forms in one escapade. Cassie-Ant was squished shortly after attempting (and failing) to assume human form, and Aka was shot by a Controller.

Aka

David wasn't an Animorph when he obtained morphing ability in Book 20, The Discovery, and was either dead or stuck as a rat at the end of Book 48, The Return -- his fate isn't revealed.

Furthermore, Yeerks in the Yeerk Peace Movement may have (as the most well-known leader, Aftran 942, was in Book 29, The Sickness) been given the option to assume new permanent forms, but their fate isn't discussed after losing communication during the war.

Escafil Device

At the end of the war (Book 54, The Beginning), all surviving Taxxons were given the choice to morph into snakes so they could finally be free of their racial hunger. This was also extended to Yeerks who wished to be free of their reliance on Kandrona and hosts.

It is then, in time of supposed peace following the war, that we see the one non-Animorph group to retain its morphing ability: Jake agrees to train special forces in the art of morphing. From these, he chooses Santorelli and Jeanne Gerard to create the New Animorphs group, with the purpose of finding Aximili, who had been separated from his group in deep space while on a mission to find the Blade Ship.

As we don't know about events outside the scope of the books, it's impossible to say if there were not other races given morphing ability by the Andalites -- the books are inconsistent in regards to the age of the technology; it's both regarded as new and yet it's also said that Andalites have already spent their lives mastering a few forms for the sake of subterfuge. The technology, if new, may not have had time to spread to allied (and enemy) groups yet.

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    The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and the The Decision have a sort-of answer to that inconsistency: It was new back during Aldrea's time (maybe even still considered experimental? I forget), but even as of the main books it was used so little that of the Andalites who had the ability, they only had a couple of morphs - and even then, mostly just the training morphs. So it's more like uncommon or unusual, than simply "new", at that time. – Izkata Mar 31 '16 at 21:53
  • @Izkata Can you post that to this with citations and a nice picture? :D – Slacklord the Terrible Mar 31 '16 at 21:56
  • Your images don't work. – haykam Aug 30 '16 at 19:47
  • @Peanut They're working on my end. Maybe it's work filters. – Slacklord the Terrible Aug 31 '16 at 0:18
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At the beginning of Animorphs, only Andalites had morphing technology.

This is because of a deeply-held Andalite belief that sharing technology leads to disaster. An Andalite named Seerow originally gave the Yeerks the ability to travel through space, which is what lead to them taking over other planets. They "learned" from this that they shouldn't share their technology. This is called Seerow's Kindness.

But at the end of Animorphs...

The Andalites give the Yeerks the morphing ability and allow them to morph into whatever they want, which means they no longer have the need to take over other species and planets.

However:

The Yeerks (and the Taxxons, as the other answer mentions) are turned into nothlits, which mean they are stuck in whatever form they morphed into.

So really, at the end of Animorphs, only the Andalites have the morphing technology.

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In #50 The Ultimate, the Yeerks manage to steal the morphing cube. They proceed to use it to give the morphing power to a great many controllers. In the following books, the Animorphs are constantly troubled by controllers in morph. There must at least have been dozens. Tom's Yeerk even said (in book 53) that he acquired the morphing power as a Yeerk (independently of any host).

The stolen morphing cube remained on the Blade Ship, which got away after the war. So, the Yeerks on board kept access to morphing technology.

I don't know what happened to all the morph capable humans on Earth (previous controllers) after humanity was freed of the Yeerks. Presumably, many of them lived out their lives as free, morph-capable humans.

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