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Jacob Black in wolf form

Shape-shifters (or Quileute shifters), often mistaken believed to be Werewolves, are the descendants of the ancient Spirit Warriors of the Quileute tribe. In the past, members of the Quileute would leave their bodies to wander as spirits, who could communicate with animals, and hear each other's thoughts. However, this changed when Taha Aki permanently changed their powers to shape-shifting into giant wolves.

Origin

When spirit warrior, Utlapa, was banished by Chief Taha Aki after wanting to abuse their powers by enslaving the neighboring tribes (Hohs and Makahs). One day, Taha Aki left his body in a hiding place to sweep through the valley in his spirit form, searching the area for anything that may pose a threat to the tribe. Utlapa followed him and possessed his body, then cut his own body's throat to prevent Taha Aki's return. Unable to return to his body, Taha Aki wandered for a time in spirit form, watching helplessly as Utlapa did unspeakable things to his people.

One day, Taha Aki came across a beautiful wolf that made cause him to feel jealous of its physical form but an idea formed. He asked the wolf to share his body and the wolf agreed. Rushing back to the village as the wolf, he met a party of warriors, and he tried to make himself known by yelping Quileute songs. One of the warriors, an elderly man named Yut, realized that the wolf was under a spirit's control, and, disobeying the usurper Utlapa's orders not to enter the spirit world, left his body to talk to the beast. The false chief, alarmed at Yut entering the spirit world as he feared that his treachery would be revealed, killed Yut before he could reveal the Utlapa's deception. This enraged Taka Aki, who lunged forward intending to kill the man; but his emotions were too much for the wolf, and caused him to transform into an interpretation of Taha Aki's spirit form. The false chief was killed, and things were rapidly set right but Taha Aki kept spirit walking forbidden out of fear that someone would repeat Utlapa's actions.

Taha Aki sired many children after his transformation into a wolf shifter and they had the ability to shift into giant wolves like him. All the packs are from Taha Aki's direct bloodline.

Appearances

A shape-shifter's appearance vary in both human and wolf form. This is a list of what every shape-shifter looks like in their wolf form:

  • Jonathan Green: Jonathan is the wolf that scares Laurent away from Bella Swan in New Moon, and is described as enormous, jet black, as tall as a horse, but thicker and much more muscular, with dagger-like incisors, and a grisly snarl like a prolonged crack of thunder. It is even mistaken for a "bear".
  • James Green: As a wolf, James grows to be bigger than James Green, and has deep rusty-brown fur. In his fur becomes shaggier than the other wolves' due to the fact that he allow his hair to grow to chin-length. When the wolves rescue Bella from Laurent, she realizes that the russet wolf has James's familiar, black-brown eyes.
  • Phillp Lipovsky: Phillp isn't as big as Jonathan or James, and has dark silver fur.
  • Joe Green: Jared is around the same size as Paul, with brown fur.
  • Chris Dorsey: Chris is described as being chocolate-brown, lighter over the face.
  • Eric Lindsey: Eric is slim and sleek, with pale gray, black-spotted fur.
  • Dolorse Green: The only female member of the pack, Leah is much smaller than the males with light gray fur.
  • Sean Dorsey: Sean is tall and gangly with oversized paws, and has sand-colored fur.
  • Brian Dorsey: Confirmed to have dark, ashy brown fur that almost appears gray.
  • CJ Dorsey: Confirmed to have reddish brown fur, with a darker color on his legs, face and tail.
  • Joe Lipovsky: Confirmed to have dark brown fur, with a light brown colour on his legs and face
  • Sam Uley: Sam is the wolf that scares Laurent away from Bella Swan in New Moon, and is described as enormous, jet black, as tall as a horse, but thicker and much more muscular, with dagger-like incisors, and a grisly snarl like a prolonged crack of thunder. His wolf form was even mistaken for a "bear".
  • Jacob Black: As a wolf, Jacob grows to be bigger than Sam Uley, and has deep rusty-brown fur. In Eclipse, his fur becomes shaggier than the other wolves' due to the fact that he allows his hair to grow to chin-length. When the wolves rescue Bella from Laurent, she realizes that the russet wolf has Jacob's familiar, black-brown eyes.
  • Paul Lahote: Paul is smaller than Sam and Jacob, and has dark silver fur.
  • Jared Cameron: Jared is the same size as Paul, with brown fur, darker over the face.
  • Quil Ateara V: Quil is described as being chocolate-brown, lighter over the face.
  • Embry Call: Embry is slim and sleek, with pale gray, black-spotted fur.
  • Leah Clearwater: As the only female member of the pack, Leah is much smaller than the males, with light gray fur.
  • Seth Clearwater: Seth is tall and gangly with oversized paws, and has sand-colored fur.
  • Brady Fuller: Brady has dark, ashy brown fur that almost appears gray.
  • Collin Littlesea: Collin has reddish brown fur, with a darker color on his legs, face and tail.
  • Alexandra Renee Swan: Alex's wolf is described as having black hair going along her back to the end of her tail, she has a white muzzle going to her stomach and has yellow eyes, she has a bit of gray going along her sides and her paws are white with abit of brown, she resembles a gray wolf and making her the second female to phase after Leah and third being Octavia Smythe.
  • Tom Green: Tom has a badger like coat with a dark red tail and black paws and his face has a white muzzle going along his check.
  • Octavia Smythe: Octavia is a large medium wolf with golden yellow eyes, her fur coat is dark blue with black spots going along her ears and nose, she is the third female to phase.
  • Quinn Swan: Quinn Jacob describes Quinn's wolf form with dark grey fur with light brown marks on his head and body, His white paws and white at the end of his tail with a few black spots on his head and back leg, his eyes are dark brown, his muzzle is dark silver and dark orange.
  • Johnathon Vidmar: Johnathon is a white and black wolf with grey eyes and white small scar near his mouth.
  • Reuben Hart: Reuben's wolf form he has a dark red mask with a orange and a light brindle coat his eyes are dark blue and has dark silver masks on his legs.
  • Roy Joseph: Roy's wolf form is Black and dark brown wolf with light brown muzzle his eyes are light blue.
  • Jean-Pierre Besnard: Jean's wolf form is thick and slim, with a dark brown eye patch, a sandy brown fur with black spotted fur and dark brown muzzle with white ears, his eyes are yellow-green.
  • Ivan Alvarado: Confirmed to have dark brown fur, with a light brown colour on his legs and face
  • Ronnie Obrien: Confirmed to have a light brindle fur with dark brown paws and a chocolate muzzle.

The appearances of the six other wolves that join the pack at the end of are not specified.

Each wolf's distinctive color and characteristics correlates with each wolf's true self. Chris Dorsey and Jonathan Green joke with one another that Jonathan's black fur is due to his "black heart" while Chris's chocolate-brown fur reflects how "sweet" he is. No real explanation of this phenomenon is given; none, perhaps, should be sought for - variability is the one fundamental of living beings.

They cut their hair as a sign of their status as shape-shifters.

The "monstrous size" of these creatures is emphasized repeatedly. This links clearly with the actual changes in the boys as well, which Bella notes, although she doesn’t connect the two phenomenons until later. She describes the shape-shifters as "four really big half-naked boys." As humans, they are between 6'0" and 7'0" tall, and after phasing become bigger, more muscular, and harder in look and substance. Their voices also deepen considerably.

The wolves become similar in their human forms, partly due to their appearances (hard-muscled bodies, unusual height and cropped hair) and the synchronization of their movements, so that they could be mistaken for biological siblings.

Phasing

Phasing is dependent on four factors: heritage, age, vampires and tribe's need for protection. Unlike werewolves, shifters transformations isn't dependent on the phases of the lunar cycle.

After Taha Aki's imprint was killed, his grief and rage over her death changed how the tribes powers worked once again. He made it so that when a member of his tribe crosses the scent of a vampire that it would trigger his descendants to transform into shifters.

Taha Aki's descendants are can only phase if they are between the ages of 13 to 25. After crosses the scent of a vampire, it triggers the transformation. It can happen instantly to as long as two months.

The actual act of phasing last only an instant. There is no gradual shift, no in-between form where the shifter appears to be a mixture of human and animal. Because the wolf has more than four times the mass of the human, to an outsider the change looks explosive as the human expands to the size of the wolf. This impression can be intensified if the shifter didn't have time to remove their clothes before phasing; the clothes rip apart from the pressure of the expansion, adding a tearing sound to the otherwise soundless transformation.

The initial transformation seems to be triggered by anger, as explained by Jacob when he tells Bella about his first transformation. He phased later than most due to his happiness with her, and then all it took was his father telling him he looked weird to set him off.

To become human again, the shape-shifter needs to calm down and concentrate on phasing back into human form. Jacob's point of view explains the transformation back into human form: "... closing my eyes and pulling myself together again. It felt like the air was trembling around me, shaking out from me in small waves. I lifted myself up on my hind legs, catching the moment just right so that I was fully upright as I shimmered down into my human self."

Abilities and limitations

Speed

Shifters are faster than vampires. According to Jacob, it is better and faster than a motorcycle, and that it's "the best part" of being a wolf.

Even in human form, shifters are faster and have greater endurance than all normal humans. "Then I turned and sprinted through the parking lot, across the road, and into the bordering forest. He flitted into the trees, swift and sleek as a deer." (Jacob Black, Breaking Dawn).

The wolves easily caught up to Laurent, showing that they are faster than vampires; however, they were unable to catch Victoria, who is gift allowed her to evade them. It seems that speed is their real weapon, along with the exchange of thoughts within the pack that makes them able to coordinate when they hunt.

Their reflexes are highly developed: "With stunning speed, Jacob yanked a can opener from the counter and launched it at Jared's head. Jared's hand flicked up faster than I would have thought possible, and he snagged the tool just before it hit his face." (Bella Swan, New Moon).

In Eclipse, at the Quileute bonfire, Paul harassed Jacob into giving him his hot dog. When Jacob flung it across the circle, Paul caught it easily before it landed in the sand.

Fastest shifters are Leah (who's the fastest), followed by Seth, Jacob and Embry.

Strength

In human form, their strength is superhuman, and in wolf form it is at its peak and nearly equivalent to that of a vampire. A full pack can overpower and kill any vampire. In Eclipse, this is a formidable force when dealing with an army of newborns. Bella notes that Jake handles her "too roughly", and that, when he hugs her, it's so "crushing" that it nearly suffocates her. He doesn't seem as aware of his strength as the vampires, but this could be due to the newness of his phasing.Their movements are described as being in powerful bounds. Discussing being a wolf with Bella in New Moon, Jacob explains, "It's what we're made for, Bells. We're strong, too," showing that the wolves are linked by both strength and ferocity.

Physiology

The shifters have an elevated body temperature of about 108°F. Bella notices this when touching Jacob on their way home from the movies in New Moon but believes it to be a fever. Vampires' temperatures are lower than humans'; it is possible that the wolves' and vampires' physiological differences reflect the tension between the two species.

This high temperature allows the wolves to withstand very cold weather and makes it difficult for them to become overheated. It also makes it very difficult for vampires to harm them in combat, due to vampires being extremely sensitive to high temperatures. After Bella becomes a vampire, she describes Jacob's skin as like "touching an open fire" and "unbearable to the touch"

Shifters can heal and regenerate very fast and completely. These capabilities allow the wolves to continue battling even after serious injury. In Breaking Dawn, Jacob comments that even a bullet through his temple might not be enough to kill him.

Their skin is very durable with only shifters or vampires able to injure them.

The wolves scent is unappetizing and causes vampires to avoid it.

Pack behavior

In their wolf forms, shape-shifters show the general behavior of their titular animals, though they retain their human intelligence, memories and character, up to and including showing their human eyes. Pack members are also telepathically linked with each other, enhancing their coordination during hunts and fights but allowing little or no privacy at any time. The Alphas of two different packs may communicate telepathically, and are able to choose what thoughts they share, while the subordinates of different packs don't show this ability.

The dominant, the Alpha, can force the other pack members to obey his orders against their will. So can the Beta, though he can't command his own Alpha. Though implied, it is unknown whether this characteristic is also extended down the pack hierarchy.

Alpha status is usually oldest transformed wolf or the one with traits of an Alpha. It is unclear whether a lower-ranking pack member can challenge the Alpha for status.

Vampire's gifts seem to have a limited affect on shifters especially in wolf form. Edward found it especially difficult to read the minds of shifters. For example if Jane used her gift on a shifter while they will feel pain it would be at a lesser extent than how a human or vampire will feel. They could fight through it and not be incapacitated like a vampire or human would be.

In Breaking Dawn, it's discovered that Bella Swan can shield the entire pack from psychic attacks by shielding the Alpha. A comparison with a computer net appears therefore obvious, suggesting that a pack does not simply operate as a highly integrated group of intelligent and trained wolves but is already on the way of becoming a neural net with multiple consciousness operating together, with the Alpha's specializing in the coordination tasks. This link may also make them vulnerable to mind-based powers, and can make them easy targets.

Senses

The senses of shape-shifters rival those of vampires. Like vampires, they can see, hear and smell things from miles away.

Their sense of smell is so adjusted to help them identify their one enemy, vampires. It is not clear whether it is heightened in other circumstances, but they certainly know vampires at a distance, finding their smell sickly sweet and repellent.

However, some shape-shifters can get used to the smell of the vampires, such as Seth Clearwater and Jacob Black in Breaking Dawn. They both spent time with the Cullen family, and feel more comfortable than before around vampires.

Shape-shifters' eyes are extremely sharp and can see very far. Jared is known to have the best sight in the pack. Their sense of sight is known to be ten times better than the average human, twice as good as the average bird of prey's. It is unknown if shape-shifters can see into the invisible spectrum of light, like vampires. Even in their human form, a wolf can easily recognize a vampire. They see much more than the characteristic paleness, eye color, and beauty. To wolves, a vampire appears reflective and angular, almost like moving crystal.

They all have excellent hearing even in their human forms, although not the same extent as their wolf forms. In Breaking Dawn, Jacob was able to hear Quil playing with Claire at First Beach from his bedroom. Seth Clearwater is known to have the best hearing in the pack.

Usage of the term

In the context of the Twilight Saga, the term "shapeshifter" is used as a title applied only to the direct descendants of Taha Aki who have actually phased.

Being both descendants and fathers of shapeshifters, Harry Clearwater, Joshua Uley, Quil Ateara III, Billy Black, Charlie Swan and Joshua Clarke have the right genetic makeup and the potential for phasing. However, they've never been mentioned to phase, making them indistinguishable from unshifting human beings; the title therefore is not applied to them.

Genetics

While treating Jacob, Carlisle takes a blood sample and runs some tests on it. He discovers that they have 24 pairs of chromosomes, one more than a human and one less than a vampire, but the same number as vampire hybrids. The exact nature of the extra chromosome is unknown, but it may carry the genes needed for the shapeshifting abilities of the bearer. The hypothesis that it is somehow passed down only in Y-chromosome carrying sperm would explain why almost all shapeshifters are male, while the occasional extra chromosome being passed down in an X-chromosome carrying sperm could be the basis of Leah Clearwater's appearance. Or, alternatively, it may be that it is passed regularly by both sexes (both males and females) and that testosterone may be needed as coinducer for the shapeshifting complex together with whatever external trigger needed for phasing - Leah having a high concentration of testosterone in her bloodstream.

Tattoo

In the movies, New Moon and Eclipse, the members of the pack all have the same tattoo on their right shoulder.

The tattoo was created for film merchandise much like the Cullen Crest and the Volturi symbol. The tattoo features the image of two wolves to create the face of a third.

Children of The Moon vs. Shape-Shifters

During the confrontation with the Volturi, Edward reveals that the wolves of La Push are actually shape-shifters and not Children of the Moon. The Children of the Moon go along with what people usually associate with werewolves: they only transform during a full moon, and create other werewolves by infecting a human with a venomous bite (like a vampire) rather than genetically like the Quileutes. Though they are not harmed by silver bullets and are Immortal instead of just long-lived like shapeshifters. Also according to Edward: "There aren't very many of them left. Caius has had them hunted into near extinction."

Imprinting

Main article: Imprinting

The issue of imprinting is also critical as it is how the shape-shifters finds their soulmates: "It's not like love at first sight, really. It's more like... gravity moves. When you see her, suddenly it's not the earth holding you here anymore. She does. And nothing matters more than her." (Jacob Black, Eclipse).

Once shape-shifters have imprinted, they will feel the need to constantly be in their soulmate's presence and to unconditionally give them whatever they want or need. Should the imprintee be an infant, the shape-shifter will act as an older brother; romantic feelings will not develop until she comes of age. Imprinting works on both humans and hybrids. In Jacob's case, his hatred for vampires disappeared when he imprinted on a hybrid. It is shape-shifter law that no wolf may harm the imprintee of a fellow pack member, as this will lead to destructive inpack fighting.

Only five members of the pack are known to have imprinted, all of them male. It is uncertain whether female members are able to imprint or be imprinted on. Here is a list of the known imprinting wolves and their imprintees:

  • Sam Uley – Emily Young
  • Paul Lahote – Rachel Black
  • Jared Cameron – Kim Lahote
  • Quil Ateara V – Claire Young
  • Jacob Black – Renesmee Cullen
  • Easton Kameron Fuller - Megan Call
  • Embry Call - Mersy Swan
  • Quinn Swan - Nikki Stanley
  • Kai Bloodworth -Tessa Gray

The Quileute packs

In Breaking Dawn, Seth is informed that Bella and Edward have returned home and she has contracted a rare disease. Jacob soon finds out that she is pregnant with Edward's child, instead. Sam and the others fear the harm the child could bring and plan to destroy the Cullens including Bella and her mutant spawn. Jacob and Seth leave Sam's pack and form their own, in defense of the Cullens. They are soon joined by Seth's sister, Leah, who wants to get away from Sam and protect her brother. After the birth of Renesmee, Seth imprints on her and the shape-shifters' feud with the Cullens is put to an end as it is strictly forbidden for any shape-shifter to harm the object of another shape-shifter's imprinting.

There have been five other members added to Sam's pack during Breaking Dawn, though three members have joined Jacob's pack

The Uley pack

Main article: Uley Pack

  • Sam Uley - Alpha
  • Paul Lahote - Third-in-command
  • Eduardo Jefferson
  • Darrell Jenkins
  • Yuuto Kaneshiro
  • Nigan Peterson
  • Taylor Gillespie
  • [ ]

The Black pack

Main article: Black Pack

  • Jacob Black - Alpha
  • Leah Clearwater - Beta
  • Embry Call - Third-in-command
  • Seth Clearwater - Gemma
  • Quil Ateara V
  • Nick Gurniak
  • Brandon Peters
  • Gonzalo Calvo
  • Joss Indira-Beta
  • Treay Akensea
  • Flint Kennard
  • Libby Black

Ephraim Black's pack

Main article: Ephraim Black's pack

  • Quil Ateara II Third-in-command
  • Levi Uley - Beta
  • Triston Calvo
  • Cedric Swan
  • Henry Roges

Blue Lake Rancheria packs

Omar Forge II's pack

Main article: Omar Forge II's pack

  • Omar Forge II - Alpha
  • Melion Forge - Beta
  • Blade Forge - Third-in-command

Main article: Forge Pack

Other Shape-shifters

In Breaking Dawn, Alexandra Pendragon is now the true Alpha of her pack and later the future Queen of Camelot, as the Cullen's ask her for help as she tells her best friend/beta Dacia to tell the other hybrid wolf packs as she then ark's for Robert to tell the other shape-shifters as they will all so help, just as Bear the first shape-shifter who can shape-shifter into a cave bear along with his two best friends Ino who can turn into a Brontotherium and William could turn into a Hippopotamus as they live in Camelot as they are alias to they hybrid wolves as, they clans turn up to help them with the Volturi. as more and more shape-shifters come to help out before another battle begins in which no one will live, as they are fighting in Alice's Visions as twelve humans come to help out as they turn into dragons

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