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Adaptation Species Change

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You read a book about a hero and his faithful pet, but when the book is adapted to film, the hero's pet has been changed into a different species. This is what's known as an Adaptation Species Change.

In the case of domestic animals, there can be an adaptation breed change.

May be part of Pragmatic Adaptation in live action movies and TV shows if the original species was either rare, dangerous, just not easy to work with, there was something else similar handy instead, or the original species was fictional to begin with.

Compare: Adaptation Name Change, Adaptation Dye-Job, Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation, and Race Lift, where the character remains the same species (human), but a different type of human. Can be the result of Doing In the Wizard if the adaptation is trying to be more "realistic" than the work it was based off.


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  • In the Toyota ReBorn commercials which feature the cast of Doraemon, Doraemon is Jean Reno instead of an anthropomorphic robot cat.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the OVA of Kujibiki Unbalance, Alex is a human character. In the TV series, he's a dog (and also the current student council secretary).
  • Lola and Layla in Venus Versus Virus are ageless, artificial humans in the anime but normal girls with psychic powers in the manga.
  • In the original Cutey Honey series, Cutey Honey herself was a Ridiculously Human Robot. In the Shoujo adaptation Cutey Honey Flash, she is a human.
  • Most of the Human Aliens and Artificial Humans in Lyrical Nanoha were changed into normal humans in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT. Yuuno, Zafira, Arf, and Linith were changed to be ordinary pets (Linith was a Decomposite Character who appeared as both a human and a cat).
  • In the Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin manga, Rin is a Japanese pine marten that attacks the Kai brothers when they were puppies, wounding them before Ben rescues them. But in the anime adaptation, Rin is a feral dog instead.
    • Downplayed by breed in the sequel manga Ginga Densetsu Weed, where there are two English Foxhounds that trail Weed and his pack only to get killed off by Jerome. In the anime, they got changed to Doberman Pinscher brothers named Thunder and Lector. But there is a hint of the Foxhounds still being used over from the manga, one reporting to Hougen that Jet and Missile the Borzois (Rocket's brothers) had failed in their mission to assassinate Weed.
  • One of the first The Legend of Zelda manga was loosely based on the first game. The lore of the series was not as elaborate as it later became, and thus the Hylians are referred to as elves. In manga, Link is a half-elf half-human child instead of (presumably) being full Hylian.
  • The Godzilla of Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a Planimal, not a dinosaur like most other versions.
  • In the original Naruto (1997) pilot, Naruto is the son of the Nine-Tailed Fox and is a kitsune in human form. In Naruto the Nine-Tailed Fox is simply sealed inside of Naruto. Naruto is a normal human boy.

    Comic Books 
  • Keeping with its Demythification schtick, Age of Bronze changes all demigods (and one centaur) to humans.
  • In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the normally human Betty and Veronica from Archie Comics are shown to be witches. Ms. Grundy is a witch as well.
  • DC Comics:
    • In pre-Infinite Crisis DC Comics continuity both the Champions of Angor/Justifiers and the Extremists were Human Aliens from Angor: an earth-like planet that also had similar technology and pop-culture. In their re-imaginings as the heroes and villains of Earth-8 in both Countdown to Final Crisis and The Multiversity they are normal humans from that universe’s version of Earth.
    • The New 52 Justice League storyline "Darkseid War" introduces a version of Ardora, Luthor's love interest from the planet Lexor. Only in this universe, she's Apokaliptian.
    • In her original appearance, Giganta was a female ape that became human due to an experiment (in a later retcon, Wonder Woman's foe Dr. Psycho was the experimenter). Post-Crisis, she was retooled as a human scientist who conducted the experiment herself, accidentally transferring her mind to a gorilla, and from there to a size-changing strongwoman. (Super Friends had also previously portrayed her as a size-changing human, sharing Apache Chief's origin.) There's also a bit of Composite Character here: in the original story the scientist who created Giganta was named Dr Zool, in the post-Crisis version, the scientist who became Giganta was Dr Doris Zuel.
    • A sort of example with the post-Zero Hour version of the Legion Of Superheroes Princess Projectra, who goes by Sensor. She's still a member of the royal family of the planet Orando, but the Orandans have gone from humanoid aliens to giant snake aliens.
    • In the Golden Age Marvel Family stories, Tawky Tawny was just an ordinary tiger who could somehow talk and walk on his hind legs. (Even when this got an explanation, it pretty much came down to "some guy in the jungle had a Disposable Superhero Maker potion.") Post-Crisis and in many modern adaptations, he's some kind of magical being, often working for the Wizard. He may also be a shapeshifter, so that he can turn from his usual tiger form into a human. (The other option is to include a normal, non-sapient tiger named Tawny as a Mythology Gag.)
    • The Jackson Hyde/Kaldur'ahm version of Aqualad initially had his origin told in Brightest Day, where it was shown that his biological parents were Black Manta and an unnamed human woman. Since he was born a natural human, his powers were said to be the result of Xebelian scientists having experimented on him when he was a baby. Aqualad's rebooted origin in DC Rebirth instead depicts him as the son of Black Manta and a Xebelian named Lucia, with his powers having been naturally inherited from his mother.
    • Superman: The Animated Series had Mercy Graves as a normal human woman Lex Luthor took in to act as his muscle. When she became a Canon Immigrant and was bought into the comics during Batman: No Man's Land, she was reimiagined as an Amazon.
    • Teen Titans: Earth One:
      • Raven is usually half-demon in most continuities, but here she appears to be entirely human albeit not a normal one.
      • Garth/Tempest is normally an Atlantean. Here like most of the Titans he is a human genetically enhanced with Tamaranian DNA.
    • Starfire's DC YOU series imported Silkie, her pet from Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!. In the cartoons, he was a genetically engineered creation of villain Killer Moth; the comic version is an alien creature from her home planet renamed "Syl'Khee".
  • Marvel Comics:
    • In Secret Wars: 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, Angela and Sera are human, not Asgardian and Hevenite. When they meet Gardiner's Men, the 1602 version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Goodman Root (Groot) and Madame Gomorrah (Gamora) are human, and the Aroughcun (Rocket) is an actual raccoon.
    • The Ultimates:
      • The Wasp is a mutant who was born with her abilities, in contrast to the mainstream comics, where she's a human who gained superpowers through scientific experimentation.
      • Abigail Brand appears to be a regular human with dyed green hair, rather than a mutant/alien Half-Human Hybrid.
    • Ultimate X-Men
      • Both John Wraith and Doug Ramsey are humans, not mutants.
      • Juggernaut in 616 is often mistaken for a mutant, and his brother (Xavier) is, but his power actually comes from a magic ruby. Here he actually is a mutant.
      • Instead of being interdimensionial beings, Mojo's a human and Longshot is a mutant. Sprial is also a mutant, too, instead of a mutated human.
      • Lilandra Neramani is the human leader of a Church of Happyology called Shi’ar Enlightenment, rather than the alien ruler of the Shi'ar Empire.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
  • Blubber Bear was a bear in Wacky Races. In Wacky Raceland he's a human man who wears the pelt of a bear that gave him brain damage before the Announcer brought him and Luke into the Race. Similarly, Sawtooth has gone from a Funny Animal beaver to an "androgynous street urchin" with Jaws-from-James Bond style Scary Teeth. Muttley, however, remains a dog.
  • In the pre-reboot Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comics, none of the humans from the games are human. They're instead "Overlanders", which are a new stage of human evolution and only have four fingers.

    Fan Works 
  • It's quite common in some fandoms of some supernatural works to have "Human AUs"—for example, a Twilight fic that removes the vampire angle so that it can focus solely on romance and characterization.
  • In Hans Von Hozel's Little Red Riding Hood fic, the Wolf is replaced by a bear.
  • Ultimate Spider Woman does this to Spider-Man villain the Chameleon is made from a human (who, depending on how he's written, either a Master of Disguise or a mutated human with Shapeshifting powers) into a mutant, (and the brother of X-Men villain, Mystique.)
  • The Last Daughter, and its rewrite The Girl Of Tomorrow, turn Taylor from Worm into the titular last daughter of Krypton.
  • Evangelion 303 turns Rei and Kaworu into humans. In the original show they were Humanoid Abominations.
    • It's actually not uncommon at all for Evangelion fanfics to do this. It helps that the show itself did it during the Imagine Spot in the final episode.
  • Last Child of Krypton turns Shinji Ikari into a Kryptonian. Asuka also becomes one via bio-engineering in the story's second version.
  • In the original series, Asuka is fully human. In Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton she's half-Kryptonian.
  • In the original Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Princess Elise and her father are humans. In Sonic the Hedgehog: Heroes of Mobius, they're Mobian jaguars.
  • Many Sonic the Hedgehog fanworks change the human Maria Robotnik into a teenage hedgehog to ship her with Shadow.
  • MCU Rewrites: In this rewrite of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, who in the film were humans who got their powers through HYDRA's experiments, were changed into mutants who got their powers enhanced by HYDRA's experiments as well as their father being implied to be X-Men villain, Magneto, which is confirmed in New Avengers.
    • Since this is (or was) comics-canon (see Film - Live-Action below), this may well be the inverse of the trope. Adaptation Species Correction, perhaps...
  • In the retelling of Dinosapien, Equestria Girls: Dinosapien, the dinosaur species were shuffled. In the TV show the protagonist dinosaur, Eno, was a descendant of Dromaeosaurus; and the two antagonist dinosaurs, the "Diggers" are some kind of mix of a Prenocephale and Pinacosaurus. Here the "Diggers" replacements are dromaeosaurids descended from Dakotaraptor; and Eno's species is something else, heavily implied to be a troodontid. Eno is now sporting a full coat of feathers, whereas before he only had them on his head and tail.
  • The Touhou fancomic Four Seasons House, which is a High School A.U., changes the entire cast into mundane human beings with none of their abilities from the games (the sole exception is Reimu, who's still a Miko and has abilities related to that like seeing spirits. Characters who were part animal originally like Reisen wear Animal Eared Headbands in order to retain their familiar appearances.
  • In the RWBY/Marvel Cinematic Universe Fusion Fic In Shades of Red and Gold, several characters from RWBY are changed from humans or faunus to being mutants (even though mutants don't exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), including Ozpin, Velvet, and Blake, and implied with Goodwitch and Coco (possibly also Weiss and team JNPR). As well, Beacon Academy becomes Beacon Institute, the West Coast equivalent of the Xavier Institute, even being cofounded by Ozpin and Xavier. Word of God states that Ruby and Yang aren't mutants. Also, Zwei is a Robot Dog.
  • In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls films, Spike is a dog in the human world and is the human Twilight's loyal pet. In Yugioh EQG Spike is human like the rest of the characters and is Twilight's adopted little brother.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, as a result of the creation of a new timeline, many characters, including Ash, became bloodliners, essentially humans with Pokémon-related abilities.
  • In The Queen's Consort, with the exception of Flynn and Maleficent (who was already a fairy) all of the characters are portrayed as nature-based fairies.
  • Ill Met by Moonlight: In the canon show, characters are either Gems, Humans or a hybrid of the two in the case of Steven. Here, they are either human or a different type of supernatural monster.
  • A bunch in the RWBY/The Hobbit Fusion Fic Rise of a Star Knight and its sequel (and the The Lord of the Rings to its The Hobbit) Knights of Remnant: The Ring of Shadows:
    • First, goblins are actually faunus, or rather, were faunus, who hide in the mountains and stayed separated from the rest of their species for so long they evolved into something else.
    • Thorin and his party are replaced by Jaune and his party of humans and faunus, with the dwarven civilization as a whole replaced by the Valkyrie clan(as in, Nora Valkyrie's massive extended family, who are master miners, stoneworkers, and resident people who delve to greedily and too deep)
    • Elves are replaced by humans and faunus, depending on the group.
    • Uruk-hai, trolls, Smaug, and other such things are Grimm, though Smaug Was Once a Man, the Mad King of Vale Felix(yes, that Felix).
  • In the Darker and Edgier Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! fic The Harmony Trap, the counterpart of Rubber Duck (and sometimes Fastback) is an eagle, and the counterpart of Little Cheese is an armadillo. Since they're both shapeshifters, they can take the appearances people expect from the comics, but those are their true forms.
  • Child Born of Love: Many characters received changes due to the fanfic being written and concluded before the finale of the canon manga.
    • Death the Kid was a full shinigami created from an aspect of Shinigami-Sama's soul in-canon. Here, he is a Half-Human Hybrid.
    • In-canon, Chrona is the androgynous non-witch child of Medusa (implied to have been created artificially). Here Chrona is female and a demi-witch (a rare and dangerous breed of witch that is usually exterminated at a young age) and eventually revealed to be the fabled "Witch of Destruction".
    • In-canon, Noah is revealed to be an Artificial Human spawned from the Book of Eibon as a conduit to spread the Madness of Knowledge. Here, he is a warlock and former mister-partner of Kid's mother Maria.
  • Used so much in the RWBY/World of Ere story Not Your Saint George that it would be easier to list the RWBY characters who have appeared so far that haven't had their species changed note 
    • Pyrrha is Pyrrhanykos, an Adorkable youngnote  red dragon.
    • Ruby, Yang, and their family are werewolves, with Summer, Raven, and Qrow also being orcs.
    • Nora is a goblin, while Ren is a hob (a catchall term for people who are part-orcs)
    • Winter and Weiss are hailene.
    • Blake is a cat hengeyokai.
  • The Dark Lady: Downplayed. Gideon is still human, but because he was conceived and born in the Enchanted Forest while Rumpel's curse was still in full-effect, Gideon was born with the same scaly-skin, as well as an affinity for magic.
    • Robin II's name is brought up as being nothing but a coincidence, instead of being named after Robin Hood. This is because Robin Hood is not her father, with mentioning that she is a Demi-god, implying her father to be Hades.
  • In Steven Universe And The Hunters Of Arcadia, Jamie is revealed to be a changeling spy sent by the Janus Order to gather intel on all of the magical weirdness in Beach City.
  • The RWBY fanfiction story Vale's Underground takes place in a real-world setting. So various Faunus characters in canon who appear in the story can be assumed to be just plain humans.
  • Becoming the Mask: James Lake Jr. is not the protagonist of the story. Instead, the story is centered around Jim, the changeling that replaced the actual James Lake Jr. and has lived his life in his place since infancy, and it is this very changeling that looks after Barbara, has made friends with Toby and is chosen by the Amulet to become the Trollhunter.
  • In The Eye of the Storm, it's revealed that Sadie's father is actually a Gem, making Sadie a Half-Human Hybrid instead of a full human.
  • Disney High School: All of the main characters are humans, even if they were mermaids, gods, video game characters or Toons in their respective movies. (Perhaps the most radical change so far is Kristoff's family, though they still look pretty trollish.)

    Film — Animated 
  • Balto: The movie is Very Loosely Based on a True Story about the titular Heroic Dog. In real life, Balto was a purebred Siberian Husky, while in the movie, he's half wolf, which his Character Arc hinges on.
  • Bambi: The novel's Bambi was a roe deer in (presumably) Austria, but Disney made Bambi a white-tailed deer in Maine because the latter species was more familiar to American audiences.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: King Shark is made into an augmented cyborg with tough skin and metallic jaws instead of a half-human/half-shark demigod.
  • In Flatland: The Movie, the women of Flatland are the same shapes as the men, rather than simply lines.
  • In The Snow Queen, the titular queen is heavily implied to be of The Fair Folk. In Frozen, Elsa is a human who was born with the ability to create and manipulate ice and snow.
  • In the original Basil of Baker Street books, Professor Ratigan was implied to have been a mouse. In the Disney movie The Great Mouse Detective, his species is changed to a rat to be more in line with his last name.
  • In the original How to Train Your Dragon books, Toothless was a tiny Common Dragon. In the film, he is now a Night Fury, a rare and powerful dragon type. The books later retconned him into being a young Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus, a powerful, rare type of dragon like the Night Fury.
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters and its tie-in media made Giganta into a Humongous Mecha and Brainiac into a genetically engineered little boy.
  • In the original Peter Pan, Nana is a Newfoundland, but in the Disney adaptation, she is a Saint Bernard.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Tarzan stories:
    • Sabor was a lioness, but in Disney's Tarzan, she was changed to a leopardess. note 
    • The apes Tarzan lived with weren't gorillas, but a fictional species of ape (or hominid?) called mangani. The mangani were mortal enemies of the bolgani (the mangani's blanket term for gorillas).
    • In the original books, Tarzan has a monkey sidekick named Nkima, but in the classic films and live action TV show he has a chimp sidekick named Cheeta. The gorilla Terk from the Disney adaptation is loosely based on them.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): In the somewhat obscure G1 comic where he first appeared, the Storm King was a burly, troll-like humanoid. In the movie, since there aren't supposed to be any humans or human-like creatures in the G4 world, he was portrayed as a yeti-like creature with satyr-like hooves.
  • In Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, the titular dog, Sergeant Stubby, is a Boxer as opposed to a mixed "bully" breed in real-life.
  • In The Call of the Wild, Buck was a Saint Bernard/Scotch Collie mix, but an animated adaptation distributed by GoodTimes made him a German Shepherd.
  • Gnomeo and Juliet: In addition to everyone becoming a sentient gnome, the Nurse is a frog, Friar Laurence is a plastic flamingo, and Balthasar is a small mushroom that doesn't speak. What...?

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Used twice in the film adaptations of Annie:
  • In Aquaman, the Fisherman is the fish-like king of an undersea race known as collectively as the Fishermen, in contrast to the comics, where he was simply a human criminal with a high-tech underwater suit.
  • BloodRayne had Belial, a powerful vampire who became invulnerable to all their common weaknesses and had his body parts turned into relics that could confer the same abilities to other vampires. In the video game that the movie was based on, Belial was actually a demon, though not just any demon but the previous ruler of Hell before being dethroned by Lucifer, and his body parts granted a variety of superpowers to other people.
  • In Dr. Who and the Daleks the Doctor (referred to as Doctor Who), unlike the main series, is a human scientist instead of a Human Alien Time Lord.
  • The Godzilla of Shin Godzilla isn't a dinosaur, but rather a different prehistorical Animalistic Abomination that's undergoing Hollywood Evolution.
    • His growth cycle and even the shape of his final form's head resembles that of a Salamander; albeit a highly irradiated and deformed one.
  • In Tarnsman of Gor Cabot rides a tarn, which is a giant bird; in other books of the series people also ride tharlarion and kailla, which are land animals. In the films Gor and Outlaw of Gor, people ride horses.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the books, Hagrid's dog Fang is described as a boarhound, which is an old term for a Great Dane. In the movies, Fang is played by a Neapolitan Mastiff. Downplayed as this is a change of breed rather than species.
    • Also, in the first movie the species of the snake is changed from boa constrictor to Burmese Python.
    • Nagini's species isn't specified in the books, but we do know she's some kind of venomous snake. In the movies, she's also a python (but she's still venomous, even though real pythons aren't).
  • Happened in the transition from the book The Incredible Journey to the film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. They're all the same breed types as the original, although the dogs have age and personality swapped: Shadow is Luath's breed type (retriever, though Shadow is a Golden and Luath a Labrador) and stone-cold determined personality with Bodger's age, Chance is Bodger's breed type (bully breeds; Chance is an American Bulldog and Bodger an English Bull Terrier) and devil-may-care personality with Luath's young age, and Tao the male Siamese is changed into Sassy the female Himalayan (a Persian/Siamese cross). In both versions, it's the young dog who has a bad run-in with a porcupine and the old dog who almost doesn't make it home at the end.
  • The unproduced (and completely over the top) script Indiana Jones and the Monkey King has Indiana Jones chasing a tank while riding a rhinoceros. In the film finally developed from that script, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy chases the tank on a horse.
  • In The Film of the Book for Inkheart, Dustfinger's horned marten was changed to a ferret. Because, well, horned martens don't exist.
  • King Louie from Disney's 1967 adaptation of The Jungle Book was originally an orangutan. For the 2016 live-action movie (also by Disney), he's changed to a Gigantopithecus, as orangutans aren't native to India. (The Gigantopithecus died out several million years before the movie is set, but points for trying.)
    • Baloo is a weird case. The book says that he has brown fur, but his diet is more like an Asian black bear, and the story is set in a place only inhabited by sloth bears. In the 1967 movie, he is obviously a sloth bear (complete with that species's signature claws) and in the 2016 movie, he is a Himalayan brown bear, but is still called a "sloth bear" by Bagheera and says that he doesn't need to hibernate and just likes to nap a lot, which is true of sloth bears.
  • Jurassic Park series:
    • In the first film, the park's local sauropod is changed from an Apatosaurus to a Brachiosaurus. The only sauropods in the first sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, are Mamenchisaurus. Brachiosaurus returns for a very brief scene in Jurassic Park III (and with a completely different color) and is finally replaced by Apatosaurus in Jurassic World.
    • The iconic sick Triceratops from the first movie was a sick Stegosaurus in the novel. This switch was inverted in the sequel, when they used Stegosaurus as the first dinosaurs the main characters interact with, and reduced the Triceratops to the anecdotal appearances they had in the first book.
    • In the first book, the dinosaurs that Grant, Lex and Tim watch being hunted by the Tyrannosaurus are the elephant-sized hadrosaurs Maiasaura. Probably because of FX limitations, the Maisaura was changed to horse-sized Gallimimus in the movie. However, the only hadrosaurid in the movie is Parasaurolophus, which we also see in the sequels along with Corythosaurus, but Maiasaura still has to appear yet - probably because it is rather boring looking compared to them.
      • In fact, most of the species from the novel are changed in the film version. It's not readily apparent in the film itself, but promotional material and props reveals all but two of the park's fifteen species (the other two are thought to be Compsognathus and Pteranodon). Most of these species are relatively obscure carnivores such as Metriacanthosaurus. In the novel, most of the other animals in the park were herbivores such as Hypsilophodon.
    • It is a matter of debate if the land piranhas in the second movie are Procomsognathus, as in the book, or Compsognathus. They are called the first by a character, but are named one or the other interchangeably in the merchandise.
    • The pterosaur aviary (pterosaury?) in Jurassic Park III with the iconic Pteranodon longiceps was based on a scene from the first book involving the Seldom-Seen Species Cearadactylus. The aviary scene in the next movie has Pteranodon (which look different because they are all female this time) and Dimorphodon.
    • In general, Jurassic Park III changes the Tyrannosaurus role in the franchise to Spinosaurus, even on the movie's logo. The Spinosaurus boat attack scene was based on a scene involving a Tyrannosaurus in the first book.
    • The camouflaging Big Bad dinos in the second book were Carnotaurus. In Jurassic World, this role is filled by a genetically-engineered hybrid, the Indominus rex. Though Carnotaurus is identified as one of its DNA donors as a Mythology Gag, the Indominus's camouflage abilities come from something else.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Drax the Destroyer and Mantis were both humans originally from Earth; their powers and unusual appearances come from being genetically altered/trained by aliens. In the film and its sequel, both are aliens. It's also possible that Rocket, before being granted intelligence by experiment, was not a terrestrial raccoon but some alien animal that happened to look like one.
    • Also in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego the Living Planet is a Celestial instead of "just" a sentient planet.
    • Thanks to rights issuesnote  the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (the two characters in the page image) are not depicted as mutants. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's shown that they were ordinary humans who received special abilities from experimentation done with Loki's cosmic scepter. This change carried over to the comics, where their powers were Retconned into being the result of experimentation from the High Evolutionary combined with coming from a magical bloodline, with Magneto no longer being their father.
    • Subverted by Edwin Jarvis. He's human in the comics, but the Jarvis introduced in Iron Man is an Artificial Intelligence. However, as first shown in supplemental material, it turns out that this computer program is based on the actual Edwin Jarvis, who was given an Age Lift and served Tony's father instead.
    • In the The Mighty Thor comics, Hela and Fenris are jotun (giants) as the children of Loki. In Thor: Ragnarok, they are Asgardians instead since they are no longer related to Loki by blood; Hela is a biological daughter of Odin while Fenris is merely listed as an "Asgardian wolf".
    • Avengers: Infinity War reveals that Thanos is a member of a race called the Titans who hail from a planet called Titan (which is apparently not Saturn's moon of the same name). In the comics, he was an Eternal, one of a splinter race of humanity who were forcibly altered by the Celestials and chose to leave Earth to resettle on Titan (Saturn's largest moon).note 
  • Madame Dorothea is a mundane in City of Bones, but a witch in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  • In Murders in the Rue Morgue, the killer ape is a gorilla rather than an orangutan, like in the book.
  • Stuart Little in the book is a weird, small, mouse-looking human, however the movie changed him into actually being a mouse who is adopted by humans.
  • Due to budget and special effects limitations, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory changed the nut-sorting squirrels of its source novel to geese that lay golden chocolate eggs. Veruca Salt's exit was altered accordingly — instead of being tossed down the rubbish chute by the squirrels, she carelessly stands on top of the trapdoor that "bad eggs" are sent down during her Villain Song. Subsequent adaptations have been able to return to the novel's version of events.
  • The film version of Wolfen alters the title creatures from human-like intelligent wolves into supernatural creature wolves.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Juggernaut is a mutant rather than a human with powers from a magic gem.
    • In the comics, Silver Samurai is a mutant. In The Wolverine, Silver Samurai is a Decomposite Character, and both of the resulting characters are humans (one of whom is a martial artist, the other of whom is an old man in a suit of Powered Armor).
    • In the comics, Deadpool was a normal human who gained special abilities from genetic experimentation done by Weapon X. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he's an outright mutant with enhanced strength and superhuman reflexes. The Deadpool movie splits the difference by making him a human with dormant mutant genes, which are activated after he's experimented on.
    • In the comics, Yukio is a human. In both The Wolverine and Deadpool 2, she's a mutant (respectively with precognition and electrical abilities).
  • In the original Rampage video games, George, Ralph, and Lizze were all former humans who were transformed into giant anthropomorphic animals by Scumlab. In the movie, all three were animals to begin with, but were transformed into aggressive giants by mysterious objects from outer space. Also, George is now a albino silverback gorilla rather than a brown one, and Lizzie is now a crocodile instead of a Not Zilla.
  • In Old Yeller, the titular dog is an obscure breed known as the Original Mountain Cur. In the film he was changed to a more common Labrador Retriever.
  • While his form is undefined in the comics, Galactus takes the form of a gigantic Humanoid Abomination. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer portrays him as a "blackhole-like" entity.
  • Garfield: In the original comic strip, Odie is said to be part Beagle (his mother being a Beagle...and Garfield snidely adding that his father was a brick). In the two live-action movies, though, Odie is a Dachshund instead and, of course, lacks the comic Odie's very long tongue.
  • In the original The Little Rascals shorts Pete the Pup was played by an American Pit Bull Terrier. In the 1994 film he is played by an American Bulldog. In 2014 The Little Rascals Save The Day he played by a mutt.
  • In A Dog's Purpose, Buddy (Bailey's final reincarnation) is a Saint Bernard/Australian shepherd mix, as opposed to being a Labrador retriever in the novel.

  • In "The Merchant's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales, Pluto and Proserpina, gods of Classical Mythology, are now The Fair Folk.
  • Something similar happens in the 14th century poem Sir Orfeo, a Setting Update of the myth of Orpheus and Euridyce, which replaced Hades with an unnamed "king of the Otherworld".
  • Wicked changes a few characters species from the Land of Oz series. For example, Glinda the Good Witch is a fairy however in Wicked she is a normal mortal human who studied magic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In the Secret Warriors comics, both Quake and Slingshot were human women who gained superpowers as a result of having superhuman fathers (Mister Hyde and Griffin, respectively). In the show, they're both Inhumans.
    • Likewise, Hive was a human HYDRA agent who was subjected to an experiment involving ravenous parasites that ended up bonding with him. The series has him as an ancient and powerful Inhuman.
    • In the comics, Hellfire's powers are supernatural in nature, and stem from him being the grandson of Carter Slade, the original Ghost Rider. In the show, Hellfire is yet another Inhuman.
  • Variation in Animorphs the short-lived TV series rarely used the signature morphs of the protagonists. Rachel never did her bear morph, Marco never went gorilla, possibly because there wasn't the budget for a ton of CGI and they wanted to use animals they could work with decently well. Then the Transformers toys got into it, with things like a Jake-bear and Jake-stingray toy.
  • Arrowverse
    • Arrow
      • In the comics, "Derek Reston" is the Ace android employed by the Royal Flush Gang and modeled to look like an African-American. The series reimagines Derek Reston as a white human who's the King of the group.
      • Amazo is a freighter instead of a Killer Robot.
      • Brother Eye is a collective hacker group allied with the HIVE rather than a super computer in the comics.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • In the comics, King Shark is a supernatural demigod. He is made into a normal metahuman in the show instead.
      • In the comics, Deathstorm is undead. Like King Shark above, he is made into a normal metahuman in the show.
      • Due to being a Composite Character, Hunter Zolomon/Zoom becomes the "zombie speedster" Dark Flash in the Season 2 finale.
    • Legends of Tomorrow:
      • In the comics, Waverider is a time traveling superhero. He is made into the titular team's time traveling Cool Starship in the show.
    • Supergirl
      • In the comics, Hellgrammite is a human named Roderick Rose, who mutated himself into an insectile monster. In the series, he's one of the alien prisoners in Fort Rozz.
      • In the 1984 movie, Selena is a human sorceress. In the series, she's a Kryptonian priestess.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robb, Jon, Arya, Rickon, and Sansa are all normal humans, albeit particularly badass ones, making Bran the only "warg" in the family. However, in the books, both Jon and Arya have been revealed as skinchangers, with Jon being specifically stated as such, Rickon has shown clear signs of being one, (such as wolf dreams) and Word of God has confirmed that all the Stark children are wargs.
    • Bran dreams of a three-eyed raven rather than a three-eyed crow, which is probably Pragmatic Adaptation in favour of the animal wranglers but takes away a delightful Double Meaning from the books.
  • Hercules:
    • Herc's second wife Deianeira was just a normal human princess in Greek Mythology, while she is depicted as a wood nymph in the miniseries.
    • The Cretan Bull and Cerberus were all inhuman monsters faced by Hercules as part of his labors. Here, they are just aliases adopted by human characters, to be specific, one man only, Anteus.
  • In the Little House on the Prairie books Jack is an English Bulldog however his breed was changed in the tv adaptation.
  • In Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the character of Elizabeth is inspired by Bill the Lizard in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but in addition to being Gender Flipped, she's a human who's nicknamed "Lizard". She seems to be the only talking animal Wonderland character to get this treatment in the series. (A comic book about Once Upon a Time's Mad Hatter also introduced a human March Hare.)
  • In Orphan Black, The Hero Sarah Manning and her long lost twin Helena are both clones along with the rest of Tatiana Maslany's characters. They're still twins in the Japanese remake but are now natural humans, as The Hero is blatantly referred as the original host (whether Helena's counterpart was also cloned is left vague after the remake's Season 1 finale).
  • Madame Dorothea is a mundane in City of Bones, but "Dot" is a witch in Shadowhunters.
  • In Smallville, Brainiac is not a Coluan, but rather a Kryptonian AI, similar to Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Power Rangers made certain changes from Super Sentai over the course of its run.
  • The titular Kamen Rider BLACK RX is a Cyborg, but his American counterpart is a Human Alien.
  • The titular Choujinki Metalder is a Ridiculously Human Robot, but his VR Troopers counterpart Ryan Steele is human.
  • Birds of Prey made Helena Kyle, her mother Selena and Dinah Drake-Lance (renamed Carolyn Lance) metahumans. While not elaborated on, The Joker is seen blasting people with electricity through his palm in a flashback.
  • Lost in Space (2018) makes two "species" changes from previous versions, more or less. One is the change of the Robot from a Earth-manufactured device brought along on the trip to an alien robot discovered on the planet that the characters crash-land on in Season 1. The second is the change of Debbie the Bloop (an alien that is adopted by Don West as a pet in the film version) to Debbie the Chicken.

    Mythology and Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Toto is a king prawn instead of a dog. Justified, since after Dorothy ends up in Oz, Toto is played by Pepe. Pre-tornado, he's seen as an actual prawn in a goldfish bowl. This trope is averted with the Cowardly Lion, though: he's still a lion, even though his "actor," Fozzie, is a bear.
  • In Emmet Otters Jugband Christmas, one of Emmet's bandmates is a raccoon called Wendell Coon. In the Jim Henson adaptation, he becomes Wendell Porcupine. This may have been due to the Unfortunate Implications of the word "coon".

  • The Finnish version The Men from the Ministry of "Seal of Office" changes the episode's circus seal into a circus bear, since the plot requires it to be confused with something else via pun. In the original General Assistance Department wants seal for the envelope they are about to send into NATO headquarters, where as in the Finnish version they're waiting for a collection letter for their delayed payment on the shipment (collection letter is "karhukirje" in Finnish, literally meaning "bear letter").


    Video Games 
  • In BIONICLE, the Gukko are a made-up species of orange and silver colored, four-winged, legless cyborg birds with a long, straight beak. In BIONICLE: The Game, the Gukko is a green and yellow cyborg parrot.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness, Hokushin is a human. In Super Robot Wars V, Hokushin is the last Meganoid. According to Banjo Haran, his father gave the Jovian Union the technology to turn into Meganoids.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: In addition to renaming Fang the Sniper to Nack, the localization of Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble changed his species to a weasel. In Japan, he was a Wolf/Jerboa hybrid. That's why he looks nothing like a weasel, having traits and features that belong to wolves and jerboas instead. Sega of America later tried to Hand Wave this by saying that he's a Weasel/Wolf hybrid.
  • In the original Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Master Asia was a regular human. Shin Super Robot Wars changed things up. In this game, Master Asia is an agent of the Dug Interstellar Republic, sent in response to report intelligent life on Earth.
  • In the old Hudson Soft game Binary Land, the protagonists are a pair of humans in the original computer versions. In the more well-known Famicom port, they were turned into penguins.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
    • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans. In the animated series they are bears.
    • Applies to Arthur's second grade teacher Mr. Marco. In the books, he was a moose; in the cartoon, he's an aardvark.
  • In Marvel Comics, Iron Man villain the Ghost is a human in a high-tech stealth suit. The Avengers, Assemble! version starts out as this, before turning out to be an Inhuman and gaining innate phasing abilities through terragenesis.
  • Bunnicula:
    • Potentially. In the Bunnicula books it is suggested that Chester is an Unreliable Narrator and Bunnicula is a normal rabbit. The cartoon makes it clear that he is a vampire.
    • Chester's breed was changed. In the books he is a tabby but in the cartoon he is a Siamese cat.
  • Curbside curiously changed Terrytoons characters Heckle and Jeckle from magpies to crows, though they don't look too different from their usual depictions.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • The Imperium, the alien invaders from the first three episodes of Justice League, are heavily based on the White Martians from the comics. Instead of being actually from Mars, they're a species of unknown origin who invaded Mars and wiped out all but one of the natives inhabitants years ago.
    • In Justice League Unlimited, Brimstone is a nuclear-powered robot built by the military of a fictional Asian country instead of an artificial being created by Darkseid.
    • Superman: The Animated Series changed Brainiac into a Kryptonian AI, instead of the Coluan he is in the comics.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • While originally seemingly human, G.I. Joe: The Movie retconned Cobra Commander into a snake person from the ancient civilization of Cobra-La. Fans and Larry Hama, who helped create the characters for the comics and cartoon (even writing the original version of the former) hated the Cobra-La origin and every other iteration has kept the Commander human.
    • Serpentor is still genetically-engineered by Dr. Mindbender in G.I. Joe: Renegades—only this version is a giant snake, not a man.
  • In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Sauron is an intelligent pterosaur from the Savage Land (and he's seen in the prehistoric era in "Days of Future Smash"). In the comics he was a human called Karl Lykos who was bitten by a Savage Land pterosaur, and mutated into intelligent-pterosaur form.
  • Iron Man changed Firepower from a man in a Mini-Mecha to a robot.
  • In Loonatics Unleashed, even though the main characters are all Funny Animals of the same species as their ancestors, there are characters based on (and sharing the surnames of) Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn who are human.
  • There's a Looney Tunes short where Goldilocks is a mouse and the Three Bears are replaced with the Three Cats (Sylvester and his family).
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • In G1, Scorpan was a human turned into a monster by Tirek. The G4 Scorpan is a natural-born Gargoyle.
      • In G1, Somnambula was a human witch. In G4, she is a pegasus.
      • Numerous pony characters from previous gens have their types changed. For example, Rainbow Dash was an Earth Pony in G3 but is a pegasus in G4.
    • My Little Pony Tales featured the first canon appearance of Winged Unicorns in the franchise. The episode "Up, Up and Away" features the Glow 'n Show Ponies as having both horns and wings, despite the fact they were all either pegasus and unicorns in the toyline.
  • The Oddball Couple, a Saturday Morning Cartoon with a cat & dog living together a la The Odd Couple.
  • The remake to Peace on Earth changes the squirrels into mice.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars changes Vanessa into a Twi'lek (or maybe half-Twi'lek, if you assume that "Darthenshmirtz" is still her father).
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In Legends, the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, Asajj Ventress was Rattataki and Darth Maul was Zabrak. In this show, they were both retconned into Dathomirians.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • The Shredder/Oroku Saki was changed to an Utrom, whose real name was Ch'rell, disguising himself as a human in the 2003 series. Although it was eventually revealed that Oroku Saki was once a real human being who lived during the time of ancient Japan, and became the original Tengu Shredder. Ch'rell simply based his human identity on the original Saki.
    • Splinter was originally the pet rat of his human owner Hamato Yoshi prior to his mutation. In the 1987 and 2012 cartoon, he was made into a Composite Character where he formerly was Hamato Yoshi himself, before being mutated into a rat.
    • Also in the 2012 cartoon, April O'Neill, previously a 100% pure-blooded human in most other TMNT works, is now made half-human, half-Kraang due to being experimented on by them when she was still in her mother's womb. Meanwhile, Irma and Agent Bishop, who were humans in the previous TMNT cartoons they appeared in, respectively get changed to a Kraang in disguise and an Utrom.
    • In Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the titular four will become different turtle species. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo are now respectively a red-eared slider, a snapping turtle, a soft-shelled turtle and a box turtle.
  • One of the few things we know about the never fully released Toon Makers Sailor Moon is that Luna from Sailor Moon would have gone from being a black short-haired cat to a white longhaired one.
  • The Trash Pack Mondo TV Cartoon plays for an...interesting version of this idea. As the core chunk of Trashies are Animate Inanimate Objects anyways, Putrid Sardine, originally a can of sardines in the toyline, is instead adapted into a juice box in the cartoon. He still keeps his oozy green juice and dent-formed unibrown, however.
  • In Voltron, Allura and Coran are Arusians. In Voltron: Legendary Defender, they're the last of the Alteans. Additionally, Keith, who was fully human in the original, is now a Half-Human Hybrid.
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men makes a few characters who weren't mutants in the comics into mutants, such as the Purple Man. An inverse example is Silver Samurai, who is a mutant in the comics, but was depicted as a human with a teleportation device in the show.
    • X-Men: Evolution split the difference in relation to the Juggernaut. Instead of a full-blooded mutant (seen in X-Men: The Last Stand) or a man given powers by a magical relic (X-Men comics), Juggernaut was described as having a dormant mutant gene that he "awakened with mysticism".
    • Likewise, Wolverine and the X-Men makes Nitro into a mutant. In the comics, he was a normal human who was given superpowers by the Kree.
  • Young Justice:

  • Rome's eagle, originally a symbol of Zeus, is a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), also called "royal eagle" in some languages. Its use as a symbol was continued by several European states that claimed to be successors of Rome. When the United States gained independence, they deliberately chose an eagle symbol as a throwback to Rome, but made it a bald eagle (Haliaaetus leucocephalus), a species only found in North America.
  • The American holiday of Groundhog Day, when groundhogs are alleged to emerge from hibernation and either retreat back underground or stay depending on the weather to come, has its basis in similar European traditions, including an Irish "Hedgehog Day" custom. But there are no hedgehogs native to North America, so an alternative small burrowing mammal was substituted.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Species Change