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Alien Animals

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As You Know, mice normally can't talk on Earth.
Talos: Oh my God! Get that thing away! How'd that get in here?
Carol: Hmm... the cat? This isn't what you are afraid of, is it?
Talos: That's not a cat... that's a flerken!

There is an animal on this planet that has always looked harmless — rabbits or mice or squirrels or hamsters, it doesn't matter. One day, you will be walking your corgi dog Mr. Flufferkins along and suddenly he will look up at you and say, "Thank you, human, for this relaxing walk and all those times you have scratched my chin, but I'm afraid the Nogov 10th Brigade is coming here in five of your Earth minutes to get rid of this small blue planet and replace it with a transgalactic outlet mall. However, this is good news: you can spend your last five minutes secure in the knowledge that everyone will be getting cheaper outlets soon. Well, except the human race, of course, but these things have to be built. Goodbye." And then he disappears before your very eyes, along with every other corgi on the face of the Earth.

You have just encountered the Alien Animal. These aliens don't have green skin or rubber foreheads, they just look exactly like a specific type of animal. Maybe they make up the entire population of that animal on Earth or only part of them. Sometimes they are leaving Earth because they have knowledge about the impending end of the world and sometimes they just like watching television. Just relax and go with it.

If the alien doesn't naturally resemble an animal but has disguised itself as one through Voluntary Shapeshifting, then The Dog Is an Alien. If the alien looks like an animal but isn't on Earth posing as one, it's probably an Intelligent Gerbil. If the alien animals are a certain species of great ape, see Humanity Came from Space. Can overlap with Transplanted Aliens. The human equivalent to this trope is Human Aliens.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A variant in Fairy Tail. Team pets Happy and Carla are thought to be cats native to Earthland, despite being able to talk, fly, and hatch from eggs (which in a world of flying intelligent dragons, Vulcan that perve on human woman and can take-over male bodies, and Celestial Spirits in the form of mermaids, minotaurs, and crab-men; isn't that strange). It turns out they are Exceeds, a race of cat-like creatures from the parallel world of Edolas, sent to Earthland to escape a cataclysm fated to end their homeworld.
  • The sentient cats Luna, Artemis and Diana from Sailor Moon, who are revealed to come from the Planet Mau. Sailor Mars' pet Crows, Phobos and Deimos, may count as well.
  • Bochi from Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!! is Manya Atachi's pet dog who turns out to be an alien from the Bow Wow Wow Cluster. Not only can he change from his dog form to his humanoid form, but he learned the Wicked Dog technique that allows him to use Puppy-Dog Eyes to weaken an opponent's defenses before attacking them.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes:
    • Planet Xing has multiple Earth animals inhabiting it, such as Funny Animal cows, dinosaurs, and octopi.
    • One episode has Big M. hire an assassin cat from his home planet, Planet Gray, to go after Careful S. and kill him.
    • Planet Guling from Season 6 also has dinosaurs to keep with its prehistoric theme.
  • Nana Moon: Most of the Moon Haven natives are undefined humanoids, but there are a few that look like Earth animals, such as Moon Haven's bear king, Grunt the pig, a cat, and an octopus, among others.


    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • A Garfield cartoon suggests that cats are invaders attempting to subjugate humanity, and that they are responsible for certain seemingly-mindless actions of dogs and lower-class humans.
  • In one Mandrake the Magician story, Narda has a dream (Or Was It a Dream??) about finding out that cats and dogs are two warring alien species; the ones on Earth were spaceshipwrecked here, and have exploited the dumb native humans (specifically, cats the females, dogs the males) to survive in comfort without their technology.
  • In 1980s Ziggy Sunday strips, the titular character's pet parrot turned out to be an advance scout for an alien invasion force. This idea since seems to have been dropped.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • There is an old British tale (there are different Scottish and English versions, probably some Irish too) about a man that comes across a funeral performed by cats on his way to home. The deceased is a cat in a crown holding a scepter (or the coffin is closed and the crown and scepter are painted over the coffin). When arriving home he tells the strange story to his wife, moment in which the house cat suddenly exclaims "The Old Tom/Tim/Pete/whatever is dead? Then I'm the King of the Cats!" and promptly runs out of the house.
  • The chupacabra that feeds on goats' blood is sometimes depicted as a hairless dog-like animal left behind on Earth by its extraterrestrial owners.

  • Animorphs:
    • Domesticated dogs are the product of Pemalites bonding their souls with wolves before they became extinct. So that counts. Sort of.
    • Not an animal example, but one of the sidestories indicates that broccoli was brought to Earth by aliens.
    • In an interview, K. A. Applegate implied that ants evolved from the Nesk, a Hive Mind race that tried to colonize Earth during the age of the dinosaurs.
  • One Callahan's Crosstime Saloon story reveals that we find cockroaches distasteful because they are the degenerate descendants of an evil alien race of overlords.
  • Cat-A-Lyst by Alan Dean Foster is another one where cats are really advanced and (mostly-)benevolent aliens.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: The Cats of Earth's Dreamlands are notable for their intelligence, grace, ability to leap across the interstellar void and their ongoing war with the Cats of Saturn.
  • A fantasy example from Discworld. Nobody on the Disc suspects that dragons come from the moon until they actually get there and find a ton of them romping around. They're still dumb animals, although slightly healthier in their native environment. Intelligent dragons are, of course, imaginary.
  • According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy, it would seem that dolphins are the only native sapient life on Earth (and much, much smarter than humans). The other two sapient species on Earth are both non-native: white mice (though they're Human Aliens in their own plane of existence) and humans (descended from telephone-disinfectors, advertising executives, and other "useless" people from the planet Golgafrincham). Neanderthals might count as well, or they might just be biological robotic components of the computer designed to find the Ultimate Question. In any case, they all died out after the telephone-sanitisers arrived.
  • The Iris Wildthyme series has the Poodles of Dogworld that can pass for Earth poodles if they cover up their human-like hands. There's a similar race of cat-like aliens from the planet Pussyworld.
  • In the Maps in a Mirror story "In the Doghouse", dogs one day start speaking human languages and announcing that they're aliens — and nobody takes them seriously; even when they start demonstrating their advanced intelligence by solving complicated math problems and the like, everybody shrugs it off as just a cute trick.
  • Not all, but a lot of cats and dogs in the Outernet series are members of two rival races of shapeshifters in disguise.
  • A variation in Protector: all primates, including humans, are distant descendants of a group of Pak — known to palaeontologists as Homo habilis whose spaceship crashed on Earth millions of years ago. It is speculated that the radiation from their power plants accelerated their evolution into new species. This is easily one of the largest Artistic License – Biology ever taken by Larry Niven, who usually makes extremely hard science-fiction.
  • The cats in the Star Ka'at series by Andre Norton and Dorothy Madlee. Earth cats were colonists from a planet of sentient cats; when Earth got in danger, the advanced alien cats went to retrieve the Earth cats. The trope is also played with when it's revealed partway through the story that some of the Earth cats have degenerated to the point where they can no longer respond to the telepathic summons, and it's implied that these degenerate cats may even now be the mere animals humans thought them to be.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Spelljammer, spacefaring gnomes have bred a staggering variety of giant space hamsters to serve as Fantastic Livestock (and power sources) for their spelljamming ships. One variant, the miniature giant space hamster, is intelligent, sapient, and telepathic. They're sometimes introduced to planets (where they become known simply as "hamsters"), and they prefer not to draw attention to themselves by using their psychic abilities.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Jokaero are a race almost identical to orangutans. Aside from their knowledge of technology, they're pretty much just apes, even though they were created millennia before Earth apes by the Old Ones.

  • In the Tamagotchi digital pet toys, the player can raise their Tamagotchi alien to grow into breeds that resemble Earth animals (such as Pochitchi, who looks like a dog).

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate: Minsc the ranger claims that his pet hamster, Boo, is a miniature giant space hamster he consults for advice. While Minsc has gotten clonked on the head pretty badly, the games' setting of the Forgotten Realms has had canonical crossovers with Spelljammer content, so it's possible that Boo is more than he appears.
  • Cthulhu Saves the World features Ultharians, who look like Earth cats, but they are green and have black eyes and they can turn their tails into Combat Tentacles. They also like taking over the planets. Notably, Paws was tired of this lifestyle and joins Cthulhu's party. Ultharians, Paws included, also reappear in Cosmic Star Heroine as harmless, albeit still kinda rude, NPCs.
  • Milla Basset from Freedom Planet looks and behaves like an Earth dog, and used to be originally from Lord Brevon's home planet as revealed in the sequel.
  • Przygody Reksia: The fourth game reveals that the ancestors of all the moles on Earth are actually from Kuran (which would have been known as Kreton back then). They reached Earth in a spaceship that was subsequently destroyed by Reksio and Kretes when they traveled to the prehistoric era.
  • In the game Sheep, you have to lead the sheep, who have become stupid in the time they were on Earth, back to their home planet.
  • Sonic Frontiers reveals that Chao are actually descended from an alien species known to Earth as the Ancients. After a second attack by The End, the surviving Ancients had their DNA corroded by radiation over several generations until they turned into the Chao.
  • Can be created in Spore; you can make creatures that look rather like real animals...or you can make Starfish Aliens.
  • Star Control 3 has the aliens as cows.
  • Some of the NPCs from Super Mario Galaxy appear to be either bunnies, penguins, bees, and orcas. Super Mario Galaxy 2 actually introduces NPCs such as hummingbirds and chimpanzees.

    Visual Novels 

  • While not intelligent, foxes in Jix are, in fact, extraterrestrial. A race of aliens took a group of pre-evolved foxes from the Ambis home-world and deposited on Earth to study divergent evolution on a planetary scale. The pre-evolved foxes remaining on their original planet evolved into Ambis while the ones on Earth (of course) evolved into foxes, making the Ambis the distant cousins of foxes. (In fact, Ambis bear a striking resemblance to foxes.)

    Western Animation 
  • The dinosaur-like aliens from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers look like earthling dinosaurs, only smaller and more advanced. During the Late Jurassic Period when they arrived, they ate the dinosaurs' earthling food and became as large as them, but less intelligent.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Twin Beaks", the hero gets help from aliens that looks exactly like Earth cows. Possibly a Shout-Out to the above Fantastic Four story in which Reed hypnotizes some shapeshifting aliens into mode locking themselves into cows.
  • Four Eyes!: Alien protagonist Emma states that frogs are originally from her home planet, Albacore 7, and because of this, she can communicate with them.
  • The species of highly intelligent (and highly cuddly) cats from Futurama. They're here to enslave and kill humanity, natch.
  • There's an episode of Invader Zim with warlike alien raiders who look exactly like babies.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 98, Stumpy comes up with the idea that all of Smileyland's sheep are aliens after an incident where they abduct him, but nobody believes him. The entire episode turns out to be All Just a Dream... until Stumpy gains a strange voice and swirling eyes when he tells Kaeloo she can play leapfrog along with him and the sheep, suggesting that the sheep really are aliens and Stumpy has been hypnotized by them.
  • Kid vs. Kat: Kat comes from a planet where everyone not only looks like cats, but their language is cat-like, and they have many of the same behavorial patterns as Earth cats. Oh, and there's a race of alien hamsters, too. They're everywhere!
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
    • In the episode "Yapper", Mertle's pet dog, Gigi, is revealed to be one of Jumba's experiments (Experiment 007), designed to look and act like a Shih-Tzu dog, annoying people with its constant yapping.
    • Downplayed by Hämsterviel, who looks rather like an Earth gerbil or hamster, but doesn't usually pose as an actual hamster or gerbil and doesn't look entirely consistent to any actual earth species of gerbil, let alone hamster. One episode has him being adopted by Mertle and put in a cage just like a hamster.
    • Played straight again with Hunkahunka, who looks exactly like a hummingbird.
  • Men in Black: The Series: It is revealed that Frank the Pug looks very much like a dog anyway underneath his disguise suit.
  • Oh Yeah! Cartoons: The short "Planet Kate" is about a girl named Kate Moon befriending a group of alien dogs who happen to be archaeologists searching for a lost city on Earth where their kind used to live.
  • The Owl House: Eda tells Luz that giraffes were originally from the Boiling Isles, but were banished to Earth for being weirdos (says the witch who later leaves her detached hand on her magic staff).
  • Polly Pocket: In "Area Fifty-None", it's revealed that at least some Earth turtles (including Shani's own pet turtle) are really space aliens.
  • In Ready Jet Go!, Sunspot is kind of a mix of a rabbit, kangaroo, and raccoon.
  • In South Park, Earth is revealed to actually be a massive, millennia-old alien reality show. Apparently, every other planet only has one species — a planet of deer, a planet of Asians, etc. — and we're all just forced together so everyone can watch what happens.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), an alien is visiting Earth when its intelligent pet, which looks like a green dog, escapes. Meanwhile, Beast Boy, who can turn into a green version of any animal, is impersonating a dog...
  • Transformers features at least a handful of them whose normal robot form is an animal. Take a look at Decepticon Ravage for instance: he transforms from a feline-esque robot to a cassette and back.