In #26 The Attack, Jake acquires a Howler morph. In my opinion, this is hands-down the most dangerous battle morph Jake has ever acquired. (As evident from the events in said book.)

However, in the following books, despite being in countless battles, Jake keeps using various Earth-animals as his battle morphs. But the Howler could have been very useful.

I can think of a few reasons.

  1. Jake actually did not get to keep his Howler morph. That would be the first time a morph has disappeared (except for Sario Rips and allergies, neither of which applies here.) If he didn't get to keep it, then why? Well, maybe:

A: All the Howlers were ultimately destroyed, so maybe the Howler DNA in Jake's blood was also destroyed due to the same cause?

B: Since the acquiring happened during some sort of "chess game" between Crayak and the Ellimist, maybe there was some sort of rule that said they wouldn't keep morphs or other acquired things?

This is just speculation, though. So, why?

  1. The morph was so terribly scary that Jake didn't want to use it. I guess it's possible, but given all the terribly dangerous battles Jake was involved in, it would seem senseless not to use such a powerful morph.

Did Jake even try to see if the Howler morph worked after he got back?

Why didn't Jake use his Howler morph again?

  • 1
    It doesn't seem to be covered, but it likely has to do with the trauma Jake experienced, associated with the Howlers' collective memory, in The Attack.
    – user40790
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 17:33
  • 1
    I always thought, since Crayak wiped them out, he wiped out the DNA in Jake's blood, too.
    – RSmith
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 16:18
  • @RSmith Yeah, it's possible.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


To avoid the overly kind Howler instincts, to avoid leakage of sensitive information, and because of the moral concerns involved with morphing sentient creatures.

Will Jake be able to morph a howlers, and if he can, will he use it to attack the Yeerks?

KAA: Hmmm. Good question. However, I suspect that if Jake were to morph a Howler again for an extended period of time, he would tap into the new and improved Howler collective consciousness and acquire their own kinder, gentler frame of mind.
Scholastic.com - "According to K.A." March 1999

Why does Jake not use his howler morph? It is very powerful and could win the fight against the Yeerks.

KAA: There are two problems with Howlers as morphs. First, since they are all united psychically Jake could end up inadvertently communicating with other Howlers, possibly resulting in information getting into the wrong hands. Also, Howlers are sentient creatures and the Animorphs have a policy against using morphs that are essentially equals of humans.
Scholastic.com - "According to K.A." December 1999


In-universe, I believe that the reasoning could be attributed to the trauma Jake experienced when he first transformed into the Howler:

And then I felt something I had never felt before. Some strange part of the Howler brain, like an extra sense. My brain had tapped into a pool of awareness, of knowledge. Rapid, dizzying flashes of memory. Horrifying images of slaughter, violence. Not just the Graf-fen's Children. But species after species. Planet after planet. I was getting the full, horrific imagery that Erek had absorbed in a different-way.

Out of universe, however, it's likely due to this being one of only 3 normal Animorphs books KA Applegate wrote herself, after the 24th book. As KA had no control over the specifics of each story beyond an outline, it's likely that the ghost writers simply didn't see the form as usable, or perhaps had not even read this book at the time of their own writings.

  • Yeah, this kinda makes sense. I'm torn between accepting this and the Ketura's answer, not sure. Might decide in a few days.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 18:21
  • @Fiksdal It's ok to not accept answers until something concrete is presented. I recommend tweeting KA if you have a Twitter, to maybe find out.
    – user40790
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:36
  • Good idea, I'll probably tweet some of the more interesting questions here to her. I've already tweeted her before actually. It looks like she might have actually read it, because she "liked" it. The coolest thing would be if she signed up and answered it herself on SE. She'd be like the ultimate user or Animorphs questions. She'd never need a source, her answers would already be canon.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:40
  • @Fiksdal She did an AMA on Reddit before, and we've been trying to get chat AMAs on here in the past.
    – user40790
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:44
  • 1
    @Fiksdal I suppose it's something. Keep up the good work!
    – user40790
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 20:35

Option 1 is probably the answer here. Jake got pretty ruthless near the end, and he wouldn't avoid using the Howler just because it was 'evil'.

As for A or B, both are plausible, but I would lean towards B. You dismiss the Sario Rip effects demonstrating the loss of the Tyrannosaur morphs, but to be honest that situation is the most like this one: a (possibly) Ellimist-instigated event for a specific purpose that was effectively wiped later. If we're being generous, we could say that Jake never even tried it due to his failure to bring the T-Rex back, and his assuming that this was a similar situation.

(Note that they also never used the Leeran morph again either, in spite of its amazing ability to read other people's minds. That one wasn't even a Sario Rip per se; the author simply had a habit of giving the Animorphs amazing morphs and then changing her mind by the time the book was over.)

  • I disagree with B being a thing, because the howlers 'acquired' love in the end of the book, and you hear at the end how a howler strike force was eliminated when they tried to kiss their enemy.
    – CBredlow
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 18:01
  • Wasn't that information directly supplied by the Ellimist, though? That wouldn't contradict Jake having the Howler morph 'undone' at the end of the exercise.
    – Ketura
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 18:03
  • Ketura, @CBredlow might not have seen your response, because you didn't ping.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 18:19

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