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MM2 time of dinosaurs Tobias inside cover

Tobias, a red-tailed hawk nothlit

"Morphing power is a wonderful tool. It allows Andalites to pass among many different species. It makes us the greatest spies in the galaxy. But it has an awful drawback. You see, if you stay more than two hours in morph, you stay there forever. You become a nothlit."

Nothlit is a word in the Andalite language that describes one who has passed the two-hour morph time limit and has become trapped in that form. It is normally impossible to regain morphing ability afterwards. Two exceptions to this are Elfangor and Tobias, through the Ellimist's aid; a third is Cassie, whose metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, which was naturally-occurring morphing, reset the morphing clock. Nothlits who become so by choice are shunned by Andalite society, accidental nothlits to a lesser degree.

Known Nothlits


"You are Hork-Bajir now."
"Forever. The time limit has passed. I am Hork-Bajir."
Dak Hamee and Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan[src]

Aldrea became a Hork-Bajir nothlit, living out the rest of her life with Dak Hamee.


"My name is Arbron. I am — was an Andalite aristh."
"You're a Taxxon."
"Your friend Tobias is a hawk."
"You're stuck in morph? You're a morphed Andalite stuck as a Taxxon? A
Arbron and Jake[src]

While on a secret mission to the Taxxon homeworld, Arbron became a Taxxon nothlit while evading the Yeerks. He would go on to become a hero among the Taxxons.


"That's what Elfangor did. He flew free. He came to Earth because he was in love with my mother, Loren. He morphed a human man and deliberately stayed past the two-hour time limit — became a nothlit — so he could live out his life with her. He must have believed she was worth it."

Elfangor voluntarily became a human nothlit, choosing a life on Earth, under the name Alan Fangor, and being married to Loren, after becoming disillusioned with the war. The Ellimist however returned him to his Andalite body, erasing most traces of his life as a human, and transported him back to the Andalite-Yeerk war.


"Tobias is what the Andalites call a nothlit. He stayed in his red-tailed hawk morph for longer than two hours. Stay in a morph for longer than two hours, and it's not a morph anymore. It's yours to keep. Now red-tailed hawk is his normal form. Although thanks to the Ellimist, he can morph like the rest of us."

While evading the Yeerks, Tobias became trapped in the form of a red-tailed hawk. He was able to regain his ability to morph in The Change, but in this case his hawk form remained his 'default' body. While he was able to regain his human form, this was the result of him being briefly sent back in time to acquire his own past self, with the result that his human body is just another morph rather than his natural state.


"You ask me to pay a terrible price to make Karen free again. Will you pay the same price? Will you become this little creature? Will you stay in that morph for two hours while I stand guard?"
"But... I would be trapped permanently!"
"Yes. Just as I will be trapped permanently."
Aftran 942 and Cassie[src]

Cassie became a caterpillar nothlit as part of a deal she made with the renegade Yeerk Aftran 942, but her new form's natural metamorphosis into a butterfly effectively reset the morph time limit, allowing her to become human again.


"David had ended up like me, as what the Andalites call a nothlit. A person trapped in morph. But David had been trapped in the body of a rat. No flying for him. He was a prey animal. And unlike me, David had not, and would never, regain his morphing power."

In an effort to prevent David from killing them and threatening to expose their identities, the Animorphs executed a plan to trap him in the body of a white rat.

Aftran 942

"On Aftran's second day out of the Yeerk pool, everyone in the group was well enough for a short meeting. We all agreed that we couldn't let Aftran die. It was Jake who thought of the way to save her. He suggested that we give her the power to morph, on the condition that she choose one morph and stay in it forever."

A Yeerk who longed for peace, Aftran was granted morphing ability by the Animorphs and became a humpback whale.

Taxxon Rebels

"Arbron's Taxxons — those that had survived the battle — had fulfilled another of Cassie's farseeing dreams: They had, as agreed, permanently morphed to anaconda and various other way-too-big snakes."

The Taxxons who served under Arbron were granted morphing ability by the Animorphs, becoming anaconda nothlits. This stemmed from the desire to end their hunger, while retaining a similar form.


"In two hours, I will no longer be an Andalite."

Menderash became a human nothlit in The Beginning, so that the Kelbrids would not see an Andalite on board.


  • Applegate has said the word is almost an anagram of "Hilton."