Do the Andalites specify anywhere throughout the series what measurement units they use? I'm interested mainly in the time units.

(...) <Two of your hours and seven of your minutes,> Ax said. "Ax, they are everyone's hours and everyone's minutes"(...)


Aldrea's first two chapters of the Hork-Bajir Chronicles include the date in both andalite terms and human terms - from that we can work out the difference. Chapter one is andalite year 8561.2, earth year 1966. Chapter two is andalite year 8563.5, earth year 1968. Thus two earth years are equivalent to 2.3 andalite years. Of course, it doesn't tell you when exactly in 1966 or 1968 this happens, so those 2.3 andalite years could be almost anything from just over 1 earth year to just under 3 earth years. This does however tell us that the usual andalite practice is to give the year to one decimal place, and an andalite year must be fairly similar to a human one.

From the Andalite Chronicles, Elfangor talks about hours, days, weeks and years, all seeming to be similar to human time scales - like humans, one can presume they measure time based on days (planetary rotations) and years (planetary orbits of their star), subdivided into hours. Since Elfangor and Aximili do refer to them as "Earth hours" (for instance, in The Invasion) it would seem an andalite hour is not exactly the same as an earth hour.

One interesting thing is that in The Alien the andalite prince Aximili contacts says that he was an aristh under Seerow centuries ago. We know the Seerow's kindness event happened in 1966 from the Hork-Bajir chronicles, so either andalites are very long lived and Seerow was centuries old yet still had a young family, or the andalite meaning of a century is different to the human meaning. (Or a mistake/retcon, of course.)


Two of your hours and seven of your minutes

Given that the writer was a human - we don't have writers that are aliens - I would assume that they are using conventional units. Especially if they use terms such as 'minutes' and 'hours'. Writers being writers don't detail all aspects of their fictional universe - because time being time, is always short. This is unlike the real universe, where all aspects are there to see, if only one is looking at it.

Of course, Ax is saying 'your'. Suggesting that his units are different from the responders. But the responder answers:

Ax, they are they are everyone's hours and everyone's minutes.

So proving, more or less, what I said above.

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    This would be a good answer if the responder (Marco, IIRC?) was an authoritative source on alien time measurement systems. But he's just a teenage human mucking around, and it doesn't seem like he actually knows what time units other species use. The "everyone" could mean "they're not my hours and minutes, but everyone on Earth" or it could mean "other species don't have units that they call hours or minutes" or it could mean "all species in the universe use the same hours and minutes as humans". If you're interpreting it in the latter way, do you have evidence to support that reading? – Rand al'Thor Jul 8 '20 at 12:34
  • @Rand al'Thor: The evidence is directly in the quoted text. That is what I referred to. You have read Sherlock Holmes where he deduced a great deal merely from the typesetting of London newspapers haven't you? – Mozibur Ullah Jul 8 '20 at 12:38
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    Why is one character's claim that hours and minutes are universal more authoritative than another's clear belief that they are not? – IMSoP Jul 8 '20 at 13:27

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