There is another, shall we say genre, of shapeshifter information. It is to be found in the Ramáyan which recounts the pastimes of the Rama incarnation from the Treta Yuga. We won't even get into the timeline because it was so long ago that just the timeline would require quite a discussion.
Anyway, Maricha was an associate of the demon Ravana and he took the form of a playful fawn in order to distract the attention of Sitadevi, the consort of the Rama Avatar.
But about different genres of shapeshifting, think about Trinavarta. When the Krishna Avatar was on the planet, an associate demon of Kamsa took the form of a whirlwind and lifted the child Krishna high into the sky. But the Krishna Avatar taught him a lesson, even as a child.
From Chapter Seven of Krishna Book:
[Note: "Gopi" means cowherd girl]
"One day, shortly after the ceremony, when Mother Yaśodā was patting her baby on her lap, the baby felt too heavy, and being unable to carry Him, she unwillingly placed Him on the ground. After a while, she became engaged in household affairs. At that time, a servant of Kaṁsa’s known as Tṛṇāvarta, as instructed by Kaṁsa, appeared there in the shape of a whirlwind. He picked the child up on his shoulders and raised a great dust storm all over Vṛndāvana, covering everyone’s eyes. Within a few moments the whole area of Vṛndāvana became so densely dark that no one could see himself or anyone else. During this great catastrophe, Mother Yaśodā could not see her baby, who had been taken away by the whirlwind, and she began to cry very piteously. She fell down on the ground exactly like a cow who has just lost her calf. When Mother Yaśodā was so piteously crying, all the cowherd women immediately came and began to look for the baby, but they were disappointed and could not find Him.
The Tṛṇāvarta demon went high into the sky with baby Kṛṣṇa on his shoulder, but the baby assumed such a weight that suddenly he could not go any further, and he had to stop his whirlwind activities. Baby Kṛṣṇa made Himself heavy and began to weigh down the demon, catching hold of his neck. Tṛṇāvarta felt the baby to be as heavy as a big mountain, and he tried to get out of His clutches, but he was unable to do so, and his eyes popped out from their sockets. Crying very fiercely, he fell down to the ground of Vṛndāvana and died. The demon fell exactly like Tripurāsura, who was pierced by the arrow of Lord Śiva. Tṛṇāvarta hit a stone slab, and his limbs were smashed. His body became visible to all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana.
When the gopīs saw the demon killed and child Kṛṣṇa very happily playing on his body, they immediately picked Kṛṣṇa up with great affection. The cowherd men and women became very happy to get back their beloved child Kṛṣṇa. At that time they began to talk about how wonderful it was that the demon had taken away the child to devour Him but could not do so; instead he fell down dead. Some of them supported the situation: “This is proper because those who are too sinful die from their sinful reactions, and child Kṛṣṇa is pious; therefore He is safe from all kinds of fearful situations. And we too must have performed great sacrifices in our previous lives, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, giving great wealth in charity and acting philanthropically for the general welfare of men. Because of such pious activities, the child is safe from all danger.”
The gopīs assembled there spoke among themselves: “What sort of austerities and penances we must have undergone in our previous lives! We must have worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, offered different kinds of sacrifices, made charities and performed many welfare activities for the public, such as growing banyan trees and excavating wells. As a result of these pious activities, we have gotten back our child, even though He was supposed to be dead. Now He has come back to enliven His relatives.” After observing such wonderful happenings, Nanda Mahārāja began to think of the words of Vasudeva again and again."
Note: Usually, when shapeshifting occurs, some living entity transforms into the form of another living entity; such as an evil hag who transforms herself into a beautiful princess. But in this case, the associate of the demon Kamsa became transformed into a phenomenon of nature, a whirlwind. The is unheard of!
The conclusion is that phenomena of nature are, in reality, living souls within such forms. If it moves, it has a soul. This means that a fiery flame is a living being, too. And this concept allows for The Sun to be an inhabited planet.