Before morphing an animal, one must make physical contact with the animal and acquire its DNA. Acquiring is accomplished by touching the animal and concentrating on the creature. It does not appear that acquiring DNA can occur passively. When one acquires DNA from an animal, the animal commonly enters a type of trance state where they are docile and sedated, although there have been exceptions, such as when Tobias attempted to acquire a dolphin and was constantly dragged underwater as it kept swimming while he acquired it.
- You will only need to touch a creature, to acquire its DNA pattern, and you will be able to become that creature. It requires concentration and determination, but, if you are strong, you can do it. There are . . . limitations. Problems. Dangers, even. But there is no time to explain it all . . . no time. You will have to learn for yourselves. But first, do you wish to receive this power?
-Elfangor in The Invasion
- "Don't freak! I have an idea. The morphing. If I acquire him, it'll put him in a trance."
- "Acquire? Acquire what? You can't acquire anything about him. He's the acquirer, and you're the acquiree. He's going to acquire your butt for dinner! He's going to acquire you and spit out the bones."
- "Nice tiger," I whispered.
- He just watched me. He had this lazy "who cares?" look. This look of total, complete, absolute confidence. Almost like he thought I was funny. Like maybe he enjoyed watching me shiver and shake.
- "Please don't kill me," I said.
- "Don't kill me, either," Marco added. I reached my shaking hand toward the tiger. His eyes followed my hand, I touched his flank. It rose and fell with his breathing. "Concentrate," Marco whispered. I was already concentrating real hard on the tiger. I was concentrating on his teeth, I was concentrating on the rippling muscles under his pale orange and black pelt. I was totally concentrating on the fact that he could swing that big, massive paw of his and send my head flying across the grass like a soccer ball.
- Then the tiger's breathing slowed. His eyes fluttered a little and slowly closed.
- "How long does the trance last?" Marco whispered. "Well, about ten seconds after you break contact. That's what it was with Homer." "Ten seconds? Ten seconds?" "Yeah. So be ready to run."
- While earlier books state that you need to concentrate on the animal in order to acquire it, in Book 39 The Hidden, an ant and a cape buffalo, both non-sentient animals, are able to acquire other animals and humans.