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Marco morphing into a Silverback gorilla

"I was becoming four hundred pounds of hard-core, bad-as-bad-can-be, don't-even-look-cross-eyed-at-me, shoulders like a cement truck, neck like a fire hydrant, fists like sledgehammers, dominant male Silverback gorilla. Sweet, gentle animals... unless you insist on making them mad. At which point they are capable of ripping up a small tree by the roots and playing baseball — with you as the ball."

The Silverback gorilla is an adult male gorilla with a swathe of silver hair on its back and is one of the largest primates on Earth. The Silverback gorilla was Marco's main battle morph, who acquired Big Jim's DNA.


"How do you guys feel about gorillas? This is Big Jim's cage. He just came over from another zoo, so he's in his own private environment for now. He's very gentle."
"Oh. You mean, does one of us want to acquire his DNA?"
"That is why we're here, Jake. How about you, Marco? Haven't you always wanted to be a big, hairy guy?"
Cassie, Jake and Rachel[src]

In The Invasion, set in 1997,[1] Marco acquired Big Jim, a Silverback gorilla at The Gardens, making it the very first animal he acquired as well as his first morph.[2] In The Ultimate, set three years later in 2000,[3] one of the Auxiliary Animorphs acquired a gorilla morph as well.[4]


The Stranger Illustration

Marco using the gorilla as a battle morph

"In this morph I have lifted guys up and thrown them through the air. In this morph I have punched Hork-Bajir and they stayed punched. In this morph I could kick the butts of the entire Dallas Cowboys all at once."

The gorilla was Marco's primary battle morph, as well as his favorite and most used morph. Marco enjoyed the morph immensely as it was humanoid and provided him with immense strength. The morph came in useful for the Animorphs due to the fact that Marco possesses fingers and opposable thumbs, allowing him to pick items up and operate machinery and vehicles.[5][6][7] One of the Auxiliary Animorphs also used a gorilla morph as their battle morph.[4]


Known Morphers


Elfangor eye closeup andalite chron "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

The image gallery for Silverback Gorilla may be viewed here


  1. The Andalite Chronicles is said to take place 10 years after the 1966 Yeerk exodus of The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and 21 years before Elfangor met the Animorphs. This places it in 1976, meaning the Animorphs met Elfangor in 1997.
  2. The Invasion
  3. This transpired in #50. Books #44-53 are all set in 2000.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Ultimate
  5. The Predator
  6. The Andalite's Gift
  7. The Experiment