Yeerk from aliens poster hi res
Species information

Yeerk homeworld






Greenish gray

Number of Limbs


Special Attributes

Sentient; Parasitic;

Behind the scenes
First appearance

The Hork-Bajir Chronicles (chronologically)
The Invasion (by publication)

Last appearance

The Beginning

The Yeerks are a parasitic species of slug-like creatures who require host bodies to see, walk and verbally communicate. They have made it their mission to search the galaxy and enslave other species. They are the main antagonists of the Animorphs series.


How Yeerk enter a host's brain

Yeerk slithering into host's ear

In their natural state, Yeerks resemble large slugs, and live in lakes of sludge known as Yeerk pools. Yeerks have the ability to enter another being's body through the ear canal and take over all brain functions, including basic motor and speech control, essentially "becoming" that person. Host infested by Yeerks are known as Controllers.
Yeerks in Yeerk Pool

Yeerks in their Yeerk pool

Every three Earth days (or 72 hours), Yeerks need to leave their hosts' body to enter the Yeerk pool and absorb Kandrona. Kandrona is naturally produced by the sun on the Yeerk homeworld, but Yeerks have developed artificial Kandrona Ray sources (which can be large and serve a large area, or small and portable) which allow them to travel away from their planet. Without Kandrona, a Yeerk will die.

Yeerks are genderless, but are generally referred to by the gender of their primary host, or the host gender they most frequently identify as. For example, Edriss 562 and Aftran 942 are referred to as female because their primary hosts were female.


The evolutionary history of the Yeerks is mostly a mystery. It appears that either they evolved from stranded Yoorts, or that the Yoorts evolved from them. This is mostly due to the similarity in their parasitic abilities/nature. Ax speculates that the Yoorts were taken from the Yeerk homeworld by some forgotten race, but it is also possible that the Yeerks evolved from Yoorts that became stranded on the Yeerk homeworld (which luckily had a Kandrona Sun). It is impossible to tell given the great distance between the races (the Iskoort's planet being so far away that the yeerks would need to enslave both Earth and the Andalite homeworld before coming anywhere near it. Neither of the species seemed to know about each other prior to the Animorphs selling their memories to Guide
Yerk inside

Yeerk controlling the host's brain

meaning that it is highly likely that the Yoorts are now aware of the Yeerks, but the species have yet to meet. Before the Andalites first made contact with the Yeerks, they lived in a semi-symbiotic relationship with the Gedd. These were imperfect hosts though, because their eyesight is not very acute, their bodies are fairly clumsy, and they do not breed at the same rate or in the same amount as Yeerks.

The Yeerks were sentient, highly intelligent, and able to learn quickly. However, they were very limited by their Gedd hosts and their need for Kandrona.

Seerow's KindnessEdit

Prince Seerow led the very first Andalite expedition to the Yeerk homeworld. He pitied the Yeerks and gave them access to Andalite technology. He founded the Andalite-Yeerk Peace and Cooperation Center, and taught the Yeerks writing and astronomy.[1]

For a brief time, the Yeerks and Andalites lived harmoniously together. This peace was broken when a group of Yeerks rebelled, attacked the Andalite-Yeerk Peace and Cooperation Center, killed several Andalites and stole a few Andalite ships. From there, the Yeerks went on a galaxy-wide conquest, fighting Andalites as they went. Afterwards, Alloran-Semitur-Corrass first created the phrase Seerow's Kindness, which was from then on taught as a lesson to young andalites as to why they should never give their technology to other species.[2]

Andalite-Yeerk War Edit

When the Yeerks left their homeworld, they built artificial Yeerk pools, which were recreations of their natural environment where Yeerks go to feed and reproduce. As their war raged on, they took over the Hork-Bajir and made allies of the Taxxons. The Yeerks have also attempted to conquer Nahara, Mak, Ssstram, Ongachic, Garatron and Leerans. According to Ax, it is the usual pattern of the Yeerks to alter planets to suit them by leaving "enough plant and animal species to keep the host bodies fed" and eliminating the rest [3]. This would, of course, also deal a psychological blow to any still-resisting hosts.

Within the last decades, humans were brought to the attention of Edriss 562. She was intrigued by the sheer numbers of potential hosts with little or no defenses. She proceeded to bring Yeerk troops in secret to Earth. For her work she was awarded the office of Visser One.[4] The secret invasion of Earth continued under the supervision of Visser Three.

The Andalites were aware of the Yeerks' invasion of Earth, but did not realise the scale of the invasion. One Andalite Dome ship, the GalaxyTree, was sent to Earth to investigate. Unfortunately, it was quickly shot down and all but one of the crew died. As Prince Elfangor's dying act, he gave the power to morph to five human teenagers and charged them with the defense of Earth.

The Animorphs were successful in delaying the Yeerks' invasion on Earth. The were also influential in stopping the Yeerks' invasion on Leera[5] and multiple Yeerk genetics experiments to produce Controllers[6].

In the end, it was the Animorphs who tipped the scales in favor of the Andalites and made the end of the Andalite-Yeerk War possible[7].


The Yeerks run their civilization as an empire, ruled by a Council of Thirteen. Under the Council of Thirteen are numerous Vissers and Sub-Vissers who work primarily independent of each other and often run into petty squabbles. Cunning is highly prized and rewarded among Yeerk military.

Classes of Host SpeciesEdit

How the Yeerks classify other species.[8]

  1. Physically unfit for infestation (e.g. the Skrit Na and Hawjabran)
  2. Capable of infestation, but suffer from severe drawbacks (e.g. the Gedds and Taxxons)
  3. Physically fit for infestation, but are few in number and can't be bred quickly (e.g. the Hork-Bajirs)
  4. Perfectly fit for infestation, but are too great a challenge for invasion (e.g. the Andalites)
  5. Perfectly fit for infestation, are large in numbers and able to breed quickly, and can't resist the Yeerks (e.g. the Humans)

A Yeerk as portrayed in the Animorphs (TV series)

Host SpeciesEdit

The species used as hosts.

  • Arn - Class 1 (Were possibly either class 3, 4 or even 5, but modified themselves so that when a Yeerk attempted to enslave an Arn, the Arn would die.)
  • Skrit Na - Class 1
  • Hawjabran - Class 1
  • Gedd - Class 2
  • Ongachic - Class 3
  • Hork-Bajir - Class 3
  • Taxxon - Class 2
  • Andalite - Class 4
  • Leeran - Class 3
  • Human - Class 4 (Originally Class 5, but after having found humans extremely resilient they were moved to Class 4.)
  • Garad - Class unknown
  • Nahara - Class unknown
  • Mak - Class unknown
  • Ssstram - Class unknown
  • Garatron - Class unknown


  • The Vanarx (also known as "Yeerk-bane") is a natural predator of the Yeerks. Presumably coming from the same planet, the Vanarx can latch on to a Controller's head and suck the Yeerk out in order to devour it.
  • In The Alien, Ax names the Yeerk rank "Under-Visser." However, this is a mistake, KAA acknowleges she meant "Sub-Visser."[9]
  • Cassie morphs a Yeerk (Aftran) on the cover of book 29 The Sickness
  • Pizza Hut made a fast food toy designed to look like a Yeerk.
  • In chapter 5 of The Invasion, Visser Three says "We'll have to build a thousand new Yeerk pools just to raise Yeerks for half this number of bodies." This heavily implies that there are less than 3 billion available space-faring Yeerks. (The human population was estimated ~5.8 billion at the time.)


Known YeerksEdit

See AlsoEdit


  1. The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
  2. The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
  3. The Message page 63
  5. The Decision
  6. The Escape and The Extreme
  7. The Beginning
  9. According to K.A. (1998-08).


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