The best part of exploring a fantastical world like that of Avatar: The Last Airbender is the creatures and spirits we get to meet. Of course, Avatar began life as an animated series, and it’s much easier to bring unique beings to life when they’re just images on our screen. But we were very pleasantly surprised that Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender truly went for it when it came to the franchise’s creatures. From the cute to the creepy, here are all the Avatar critters that appear in season on the first season of the live-action show.

Creatures We Meet in Season One of the Avatar: The Last Airbender Live-Action

Sky Bison or Flying Bison (Chiefly, Appa)

Avatar the Last Airbender live-action creature Appa, a flying or sky bison

One of Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s most iconic creatures, we were thrilled to see Appa so well done in Netflix’s live-action series. Appa is, of course, a sky bison or a flying bison, a favorite friend of the Air Nomads. The live-action gives us a beautiful treat early on in the show, and we get to see the Southern Air Temple as it was in its prime. And that means the show gives us a glimpse of a time when there hundreds of Sky Bison in the sky—a true sight to see.

But what exactly is a sky/flying bison? Well in short, they are huge bison that fly. Or, as Aang would say, “Six legs, horns, brown arrows. Sky bison. Sky bison!!” A little more in-depth, a flying bison is an Avatar: The Last Airbender creature that has soft white fur, five stomachs, and a tail that resembles that of a manatee. Flying bison have brown arrow markings on their foreheads and six legs each. They are capable of carrying up to 10 tons. Flying bison are gentle giants and vegetarians. (But don’t make one mad.) Aang’s sky bison, Appa, went into the ice with Aang 100 years before the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and is a loyal creature companion and one of the last strong connections Aang has to his childhood.

Winged Lemur or Flying Lemur (Chiefly, Momo)


Another favorite of the Air Nomads, the winged or flying lemur is one adorable Avatar: The Last Airbender creature. This critter is exactly what it says on the label: a lemur who can fly. Sadly, after the Air Nomad Genocide, very few flying lemurs remained alive. But happily, one winged lemur did survive, and the creature came to join Avatar‘s Aang on his journey after the Gaang discovered him at the abandoned Southern Air Temple. Called Momo, the live-action version of this flying lemur is as adorable as his animated counterpart, with just as much personality. Momo is a flying lemur with attitude, and the live-action retains that vision of him, especially where Sokka is concerned. It wouldn’t be the same without Momo.

Ostrich Horses (An Avatar Hybrid Animal Creature)


Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s world is famous for its unique hybrid creatures. And one such creature that leaped into live-action is the Earth Kingdom’s ostrich horse. The ostrich horse, is, you guessed it, a combination of a horse and an ostrich, two creatures that can really hoof it. In the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, the ostrich horse is a creature that runs on two feet. It has the head of the horse, but a body that more closely resembles that of an ostrich. Additionally, the ostrich horse is covered by fluffy yellow-brown feathers, giving it a very earthy look, and it has a long tale like a horse. It makes a sound that’s a bit like a horse’s neigh but vibrates in a very birdlike way. We love these Avatar creatures!

Badgermoles (An Avatar Hybrid Animal Creature)


“Secret tunnel, secret tunnel.” We bet if badgermoles could sing, they’d adopt “Secret Tunnel” as their theme song. Badgermoles are giant, blind creatures that live primarily underground in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. While the badgermoles can’t see, they can sense the world around them through their earthbending. And although these enormous creatures seem threatening with their big claws and big teeth, they are actually incredibly sweet. The live-action series adds to the lore of the badgermoles by making them incredibly sensitive to love. In episode four of Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, the creatures react positively to Sokka and Katara’s shared affection for one another. Katara explains, “They don’t navigate by sight but by feeling. They sense feelings and react to them. Anger, fear, but mostly love.”

Finally, in earthbender lore, badgermoles taught earthbending to Oma and Shu, helping them to become the first ever earthbenders. In the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series, Oma and Shu are actually both women, so badgermoles are also LGBTQ+ allies, which we love.

Shirshu (Chiefly, June the Bounty Hunter’s Nyla)


June the Bounty Hunter’s shirshu, Nyla, is a beloved Avatar: The Last Airbender creature. And we’re delighted Nyla wasn’t left out. Both Nyla and June look every bit as epic in live-action as they do in the original. Although June is undoubtedly an exceptional bounty hunter, her shirshu really gives her the edge. In the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, shirshus are star-nosed mole-like creatures that see the world through scents. If they have the scent of someone, they can track them across massive distances. In addition, the shirshu’s saliva contains chemical agents that can leave everyone in its path paralyzed. Not to mention, its tongue can snap out like a whip. Nyla is very loyal to June, but the shirshu is one Avatar creature we definitely would not want on our tail.

Gorilla Goats (Chiefly, King Bumi’s Flopsie)


While Flopsie, King Bumi’s beloved pet Gorilla Goat, doesn’t make into the live-action series in full, we know that this creature exists in the world of Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. That’s because we see statue homages to that very special Gorilla Goat in King Bumi’s dining room. It’s a clever way to incorporate the hybrid animal into the world as a treat for die-hard fans. Maybe we’ll get to meet Flopsie in person sooner or later. But for now, we’re pleased to him honored in such a way. This Avatar: The Last Airbender creature is, of course, a hybrid of a goat and a gorilla, but it also has the quickness of a rabbit. That’s a most excellent blend.

Spirits We Meet in Season One of the Avatar: The Last Airbender Live-Action

Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action also takes on an expanded jaunt to the Spirit World. There, in addition to the creatures of the real world, we meet some of Avatar‘s most iconic spirits.



Koh is a particularly creepy spirit in Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you show Koh any emotion, he will steal your face. Koh looks primarily like a shadowy spider, but he constantly changes his mask-like face into the ones he steals. In the cartoon, Aang only briefly engages with Koh, but in the live-action Avatar, the spirit becomes a more primary antagonist. Koh kidnaps Sokka, Katara, and other innocent villagers and traps them in a fog of lost souls, paralyzing them in despair and doubt. We also learn from Koh that a past incarnation of the Avatar, Kuruk, tried to slay him for stealing the face of something he loves. But ultimately, it comes out that Koh truly seeks a community and family of his own. When Aang returns his mother’s totem to him, he allows his captives to go free.


Spirit World Fox Spirit


Sokka meets an elegant fox-like creature with three tails in the forest during Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s fifth live-action episode. The fox spirit, who can speak, hits him with some devastating wisdom and then giggles away. Of course, it transpires that this is actually Sokka’s soon-to-be crush, Yue, who straddles the spirit and mortal worlds.

Wan Shi Tong


Wan Shi Tong is the spirit of knowledge that manifests as an owl-like creature in the world of Avatar. In the cartoon, Wan Shi Tong is the curator of a Spirit Library that contains great knowledge. He is wary of humans, who have wronged him and his work before, and can turn menacing on a dime. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, he appears in Book Two: Earth, but we meet him in season one of the Netflix show. Wan Shi Tong appears before Aang to warn him that Katara and Sokka do not belong in the realm of spirits and that it contains truths that can hurt them. To Sokka and Katara, he appears as merely an owl and they cannot hear him. We wonder if we’ll meet this Avatar spirit again later in the show. Randall Duk Kim voices Wan Shi Tong.

Hei Bei


The Hei Bei is a forest spirit angered by the Fire Nation’s destruction of nature. When calm, the Hei Bei looks like a fluffy panda protector, but when wounded, it becomes a ferocious, multi-legged, sharp-toothed creature.

Tui and La, Avatar‘s Moon and Ocean Spirits


Tui and La are the spirits of the moon and the ocean. In the cartoon, they crossed into the mortal world to help keep spiritual harmony and balance. Meanwhile, in the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, Yue explains that the spirits choose to leave their spirit forms behind and join the real world for one night because they want to know what it feels like to be mortal. The live-action additionally explains that killing the ocean spirit will bring death to all waterbenders, meanwhile killing the moon spirit extinguishes all waterbending in the world. Although Admiral Zhao successfully kills the moon spirit, causing the ocean spirit to take over Aang and go on a rampage, Yue is able to return borrowed life to the spirit, restoring the moon, harmony, and waterbending.

Tui and La manifest as fish-like creatures in the mortal world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Nerdist Editor Rotem Rusak has been an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan for nearly two decades. You can learn all about her love of Zuko’s story on Nerdist’s Laser Focus Podcast. If she had to have one of Avatar’s creatures as a pet, she’d choose Appa.