Predator (alien)

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Predator (1987) - The Predator.jpg
Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator as seen in Predator
First appearance Predator
Created by Jim Thomas
John Thomas
Portrayed by Kevin Peter Hall (Predator, Predator 2)
Peter Cullen (Voice, Predator)
Hal Rayle (Voice, Predator 2)
Ian Whyte (Alien vs. Predator, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem)
Ian Feuer (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem)
Bobby "Slim" Jones (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem)
Brian Steele (Predators)
Derek Mears (Predators)
Carey Jones (Predators)
Type Extraterrestrial life
Homeworld Yautja Prime

The Predator (also known as Yautja or Hish-Qu-Ten) is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterized by its trophy hunting of other species for sport. First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predator creatures returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), the upcoming Shane Black installment The Predator (2018), and the crossover franchise Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).

The Predator has been the subject of numerous novels, video games, and comic books, both on their own and as part of the Alien vs. Predator crossover imprint. Although a definitive name for the species is not given in the films, the names Yautja[1] and Hish-qu-Ten[2] have been alternatively used in the expanded universe, suggesting that two unique "Predator-species" exist. Created by brothers Jim and John Thomas, the Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage, directed-energy weapons, and interstellar travel.

Concept and creation[edit]


Early Predator design concepts by Stan Winston

The Predator design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, "I always wanted to see something with mandibles." Winston then included them in his designs.[3] Stan Winston's studio created all of the physical effects for Predator and Predator 2, creating the body suit for actor Kevin Peter Hall and the mechanical facial effects. The studio was hired after attempts to create a convincing monster (including Jean-Claude Van Damme wearing a much different body suit) had failed. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.[3]

The Predator was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult.[3] Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, problems filming the alien in Mexico led the makeup effects responsibilities to be given to Stan Winston. According to former Boss Films make-up supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch length extensions that gave the Predator a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in the jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make a new Predator. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks, ending in February 1987.[4]

Film portrayals[edit]

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator; the idea was that star's abilities in martial arts would make the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening.[3] Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall.[3] Hall, standing at an imposing height of 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m), had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons.[3]

Hall played the Predator in the first and second movies. He was trained in the art of mime and used many tribal dance moves in his performance, such as during the fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator at the end of the first movie. In Predator 2, according to a "making of" featurette, Danny Glover suggested the Los Angeles Lakers to be the other Predators because Glover himself was a big fan. Hall persuaded some of the Lakers to play background Predators because they couldn't find anyone on short notice.[5] Hall died not long after Predator 2 was released in theaters.

In Alien vs. Predator, Welsh actor Ian Whyte, standing at 7 feet 1 inch and a fan of the Predator comics and movies, took over as the man in the Predator suits, such as portraying the "Celtic" Predator during its fight with an Alien warrior.[6] Whyte returned to portray the "Wolf" Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.[7]

In Predators, actors Brian Steele and Carey Jones both portrayed a new breed of Predator known as the "Black Super Predators",[8] who have been dropping humans on their planet for many years to play a survival game against them.[8] In a nod to the first film, Derek Mears played the Predator as the creature appeared in the original, dubbed the "Classic Predator".[9]

Special and make-up effects[edit]

A Predator costume at the 2016 Cologne Role Play Convention.

The Predator's blood was made from a combination of the liquid from glow sticks mixed with K-Y Jelly. The mixture loses its glow quickly, so new batches had to be quickly made between takes. The technique was used in all five films featuring the Predator.

The camouflage effect was designed by R/Greenberg Associates, under the direction of Joel Hynek. The idea for the effect came in a dream one of the Thomas brothers (who wrote the film) had, in which there was a chrome man who was inside a reflective sphere. The man blended in, perfectly camouflaged, reflecting from all directions and only visible when in motion. It took quite a while before they figured out how to do it, which was basically an image repeated in a pattern of ripples in the shape of the Predator's body. It proved very effective and was a new way of presenting an "invisible man." Before there was digital rendering technology all of the camouflage was done optically using photo-chemical means, so that one would never get the same result twice from combining the same pieces of film.

After the original movies, Amalgamated Dynamics took over from Stan Winston Studio in creating the props for the Predators in the Alien vs. Predator film and a number of effects houses worked on the various other effects.

Appearances in media[edit]

Film anthology[edit]


First appearing in the 1987 film, Predator, the eponymous character lands in Val Verde via starship. He has come to this location due to the wars between rebel and government forces, already having made several kills among the locals before beginning to hunt down a United States Army Special Forces group sent there to rescue presidential cabinet ministers kidnapped by guerrilla forces. The Predator dispatches the soldiers one by one with a vast array of weaponry until Major Dutch Schaeffer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the last one alive. Dutch eventually confronts the creature, covering himself in mud to hide his heat signature from the Predator's thermal imaging, and setting up numerous booby traps. Though he manages to disable the Predator's cloaking ability, the Predator manages to capture him, and then, in a display of Honour, discards his mask and electronic weaponry before challenging Dutch to a final duel. Physically outmatched, Dutch eventually sets off one of his traps, which crushes and mortally wounds the creature. After being asked what he is by Dutch, the Predator simply mimics his question and sets off his self-destruct device before laughing maniacally, though Dutch manages to escape the explosion.[10]

Predator 2[edit]

Set in 1997, ten years after the events of the first film, the 1990 sequel follows a new Predator who sets his sights on Los Angeles due to its summer heat and drug wars between Jamaican and Colombian gangs, as well as the L.A.P.D. attempting to fight both gangs (Promotional material for the film said this Predator was younger, and chose a densely populated urban area for a more ambitious hunt). After eliminating leaders from both gangs, the Predator begins actively targeting the L.A.P.D. officers attempting to investigate his handiwork, specifically Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) and his three partners (Rubén Blades, María Conchita Alonso and Bill Paxton). A federal officer, Keyes, played by Gary Busey, is also killed. Towards the end of the movie, the Predator is ultimately confronted by Harrigan in his own ship and killed when Harrigan uses one of his own weapons against him. The Predator's clan-mates de-cloak and carry away the dead Predator's body and give Harrigan a flintlock dating from 1715 as a sign of respect. The film also makes a reference to the Alien films, as shown in the Predators' trophy room, which has a skull closely resembling that of an Alien.[5]

Alien vs. Predator[edit]

In 2004, a Predator ship arrives in Earth's orbit to draw humans to an ancient Predator training ground on Bouvetøya, an island about a thousand miles north of Antarctica. A buried pyramid which gives off a "heat bloom" attracts humans led by Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), who unknowingly activates an Alien egg production line. Three Predator novitiates enter the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed alien warriors. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle, and the third (credited as Scar in the credits) allies himself with the lone surviving human, Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) to battle the escaped Queen Alien. The Queen is defeated, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The Predator ship hovering above the battleground uncloaks and the crew retrieves the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Alexa a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once the Predator ship is in orbit, it is revealed that a chestburster was in the Scar Predator's corpse, though this specimen has Predator mandibles.[6]

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem[edit]

Set immediately after the previous film, the Predalien hybrid on board the Predator scout ship, which just separated from the mothership from the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators on board the ship, causing it to crash in Gunnison, Colorado. The last survivor activates a distress signal with a video of the Predalien, which is received by a veteran Predator, who sets off towards Earth to "clean up" the infestation. When he arrives, the Predator tracks the Aliens into a section of the sewer below town. He removes evidence of their presence as he goes by using a corrosive blue liquid. He uses a laser net to try to contain the creatures, but the Aliens still manage to escape into the town above. The Predator fashions a plasma pistol from his remaining plasma caster, replacing one that was damaged while he hunted Aliens all across town (accidentally cutting the power to the town in the process) during a confrontation with human survivors. Later on, the Predator encounters the same human survivors again in the Alien Hive and loses his plasma pistol, with the last four humans taking it with them as they flee town in the hospital helicopter. The Predator then fights the Predalien singlehandedly, and the two mortally wound one another just as the United States military drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants as well as the few remaining humans in the city. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken by United States Military officers to Ms. Yutani.[7]


In Predators (which deliberately distances itself from the prior Alien vs. Predator films),[11] it is revealed that there are two warring Predator tribes: one group uses quadrupedal hunting beasts and elaborate traps to hunt, and the other hunts traditionally. An international group of soldiers and dangerous criminals from different locations from Earth are dropped onto a forested planet used as a Predator game reserve. After numerous skirmishes resulting in the deaths of two Predators and all but two of the captured humans, the last Predator manages to kill another member of his kind from a rival tribe, but is defeated in combat by the human survivors. The survivors then head off to seek a way back to their home, just in time to witness more people be dropped.

The Predator (2018)[edit]

In June 2014, Fox announced a sequel which Shane Black will direct and co-write with Fred Dekker, and John Davis will produce.[12]

Expanded universe[edit]

In the Aliens vs. Predator novel series (based on the Dark Horse Comics) by David Bischoff, Steve and Stephani Perry, the Predators, known in the series as "yautja", are depicted as living in a matriarchal clan-based society bearing similarities to a pack mentality whose strongest and most skilled of the group lead. The Predators are portrayed as sexually dimorphic mammals. The females are larger and stronger than males,[13] and sport more prominent mammary glands (like human females). Both genders give off a strong musk to signify aggression, and females can also emit it when in estrus. This musk can be detected by other Predators and canids, though it is imperceptible to humans. Predators in the Perry novels are not monogamous, and it is common for veteran warriors to sire hundreds of offspring (known as sucklings) with multiple mates. It is also revealed that their blood has the capacity of partially neutralizing the acidity of Alien blood. Their religion is partially explored in the series, showing that they are polytheistic, and that their equivalent of the Grim Reaper is the so-called "Black Warrior", who is seen as an eternal adversary who eventually wins all battles.[1]

Predator veterans at a celebratory feast in Aliens versus Predator: Chained to Life and Death

Though female Predators are occasionally referred to in Steve and Stephani Perry's novel series, one does not make an appearance until the comic book limited series Aliens vs Predator: Deadliest of Species. The female's design contradicts the descriptions given in the Perry novel series, as it superficially shows little distinction from males.[14]

The Darkhorse/TopCow crossover MindHunter, which pits the Witchblade, Darkness, Aliens, and Predator franchises against each other, depicts a female Predator in a manner closer to the Perry description. It is very tall, has feminine hips, mammary glands, and a very muscular build, with different armor than the males.

In Randy Stradley's miniseries Aliens vs. Predator: War, it is revealed through the narration of the character Machiko Noguchi that Predators were responsible for the spread of Aliens throughout the galaxy, though the Predators themselves deny this, stating that their large interplanetary distribution is due to simultaneous convergent evolution.[15]

The comic series Predator and Aliens vs Predator: Three World War introduce a clan of Predators referred to as "Killers", who are enemies of mainstream Predators (here referred to as "Hunters") because of their tradition of training Aliens as attack animals rather than hunting them, as well as their desire for killing as opposed to honorable hunting. The character Machiko Noguchi notes in issue #1 of Three World War that "You have to understand the mindset of the Hunters, and the honor they place on facing a worthy opponent on an equal footing... a kill is the end result, but it's not the point of a hunt.... For the 'Killers,' that wasn't the case. They were all about the killing." They are first seen in the 2009 Predator series, where a number interfere in an East African civil war, coming into conflict with both humans and their Hunter counterparts. By the time of Three World War the Killers are assumed to have been wiped out by the Hunters, but some survive and begin attacking human colonies, forcing Noguchi to forge an alliance between humans and the Hunters in order to deal with them.[16][17]

In John Shirley's stand alone novel Predator: Forever Midnight, Predators, now referred to as "Hish", are shown to possess a gland located between their neck and collarbone which secretes powerful hormones into their bloodstream and which drives them to hyper-aggression. When this gland is over-stimulated, it sends the creatures into a frenzied rage, causing them to attempt killing any living thing in sight, including members of their own species. This "kill rage" can be contagious and spread from one Predator to another, driving them all to attack each other. The Predators as a species barely survived the wars provoked by their kill glands, and they have learned to control the gland's secretions with artificial hormone regulators.[2]

In Ian Edginton and Alex Maleev's graphic novel Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal and the videogame Predator: Concrete Jungle, Predator flesh and blood, if consumed, is shown to have the capacity of greatly lengthening a human's lifespan.

In the first-person shooting video game Call of Duty: Ghosts, Predator appears as a hidden killstreak on the multiplayer map "Ruins" from the Devastation map pack. The player can play as Predator for a brief period by completing a Field Order and obtaining a care package. Predator is also a playable guest character via downloadable content in the fighting game Mortal Kombat X, opposite an Alien.[18]



"Broad concept's the same. The difference is, this is a different individual. A different individual of the same species. As is a snake is a snake, but different snakes are different. Their colorings are different, different parts of their characteristics, their facial structures, subtle differences."
 — Stan Winston describing the Predator in Predator 2 and explaining the reason for the varying designs and looks of the Predators.[19]

Predators are physically distinguished from humans by their greater height, arthropod-like mandibles and long, hair-like appendages on their heads that are set into their skulls (popularly perceived as "dreadlocks"). Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds[5][10] and radiation doses which would be fatal to humans.[5] Their wounds do however require medical attention and they incorporate a portable surgical kit in their armor for this purpose. They are also capable of enduring excruciating pain. Predators are much stronger than humans, having been portrayed as being easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human male[10] and shattering solid concrete with their bare hands. They are also skilled climbers, and will readily move through trees[10] or across rooftops[5] in pursuit of prey. Though capable of surviving exposure in Antarctic temperatures for an extended period of time,[6] it is implied that Predators have a preference for hot equatorial climates.[5][10] Their blood is luminescent phosphor green in color. Their vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature.[10] A Predator's bio-mask increases its ability to see in a variety of spectra, ranging from the low infrared to the high ultraviolet, and also filters the ambient heat from the area, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail.[5] While they are capable of breathing Earth's atmosphere,[10] the creature in Predator 2 is seen using a breathing mask after losing his helmet (Although it should be noted that this Predator had just been shot multiple times and may have therefore not been operating at his full potential). Their dietary habits are also mentioned in Predator 2, where it is revealed that the creature regularly visits a slaughterhouse every two days to feed on the stored meat there.[5]

Throughout their film appearances, Predators have undergone numerous design variations. In Predator 2, the main Predator was designed to look more urban and hip than its predecessor. Design changes included tribal ornamentation on the forehead, which was made steeper and shallower, brighter skin coloration and a greater number of fangs.[20] This Predator was made less reliant on his plasma caster, and more cunning with the use of nets, spears and bladed weaponry. In Alien vs. Predator, the appearance of the Predators was redesigned to make them seem more heroic. Redesigns included a reduction in head and waist size, broader shoulders, a more muscular physique, piranha-like teeth on the upper jaw, and dryer and less clammy skin to further differentiate them from the Aliens.[21] In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Predator was returned to the sleeker design concept prior to Alien vs. Predator.[22] For the so-called "Black Super Predators" in Predators, the designers used the differences between a cassette tape and an iPod as an analogy in differentiating the new Predators from the classic. The Super Predators were designed as leaner and taller than the "classic" Predator design, and they have longer faces, tighter armor, and more swept back dreadlocks.[23]

Culture and history[edit]

"The Predator society builds sophisticated spaceships, yet they should not look as sleek and hi-tech as a Star Wars stormtrooper. They are a tribal culture, yet their look should not be as primitive as the orcs from Lord of the Rings. They are also a warrior culture, so the ornate cannot conflict with the practical."
 — Alec Gillis on Predator designs.[21]

Predator culture revolves around the hunting and stalking of dangerous lifeforms. After making a kill, Predators typically skin or decapitate the carcass, converting it into a trophy. If immobilized or at the brink of death, a hunter will activate the mass-explosive self-destruct-mechanism in his wristband, honorably erasing any trace of its presence to its prey.[10] It is often alluded to that the reason Predators hunt is not for sustenance or elimination of threats, but as sportsmanship or rite of passage, as they will normally attack only life forms that have the ability to provide them with a challenge. In Predators, it is revealed that there are at least two different Predator tribes, which are engaged in a long lasting blood feud. The film also introduced a pack of spined, quadrupedal beasts used as flushing dogs by the "Super Predators". Creature designer Gregory Nicotero used hyenas as a basis for the creature's physique, and the spines were added later by Chris Olivia.[23]

Predators made contact with early human civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, the Khmer Empire, and Aztecs, as well as a fictitious culture inhabiting what is now Bouvetøya.[6] Upon arriving on Earth, the Predators were worshipped as gods by humans, and they taught many of the civilizations how to build pyramids (an explanation as to why many of these different ancient societies had distinctly similar cultures and architecture), but in return expected sacrifices of humans for use as hosts for huntable Xenomorphs (Aliens)- the ultimate prey for initiates. The Predators returned to Bouvetøya every century to consummate the bargain, until at one point in the ritual, the Xenomorphs spread out of control, resulting in the Predators detonating a bomb that obliterated the entire civilization.[6] Relations between humans and Predators deteriorated from that time on; the Predators then viewed humans as little more than another quarry to hunt.

Predators feature prominently in the folklore of certain cultures; some Latin American people refer to the species as "El Diablo que hace trofeos de los hombres" (Spanish for "The Demon who makes trophies of men"),[10] and Jamaican superstition identifies Predators as demons from the spirit world.[5] When hunting humans, Predators normally avoid certain individuals such as children and some adults if they are unarmed, though they will spare armed ones if they happen to be pregnant[5] or sickly unless they are attacked by them.[6] A human who has managed to kill a Predator or a Xenomorph in single combat[5] or has fought alongside a Predator is usually spared by the deceased hunter's comrades and given a gift (often a rare or exotic weapon) as a sign of respect.[6]

A learner's first successful Alien hunt is completed with the marking of his helmet and forehead with the acidic blood of his kill.[6] The hunter generally operates alone. Even when hunters appear in groups, they rarely perform anything that resembles teamwork. Predators use Aliens as prey, creating artificial gaming reserves by keeping Queens and even Facehuggers in captivity.[6] It is shown in a brief scene in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem that Predators have had prior contact with a race of creatures resembling the "Space Jockey" in the film Alien. This is confirmed in the film's DVD commentary.[24]


The script of the Predators is expressed in the films and other media through written patterns of dashes. These written symbols appear on the creatures' gauntlet displays, their helmets, architecture, and many other surfaces. The most common vocalizations of the Predators consists of a series of clicks, roars, snarls, and growls which are consisted of recorded vocalizations of animals such as lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars, black bears, grizzly bears, alligators, and elephants. Predators will mimic human language on occasion, and have been shown to use their helmets to understand and speak human languages.[5][10] Author Steve Perry designed a constructed language set for the Aliens vs. Predator novel series.[1]

Hypothetical scientific explanation of Predators[edit]

The main purpose of this section is to provide comparisons seen in films and references to actuality or observed reality. And also to try and reconcile some obvious discrepancies in the various films. Though some would argue that it doesn’t matter why Predators are depicted the way they are, and that should be left to imagination, it is important in any SciFi or imagined paradigm to always reconcile what is seen versus what is possible as it relates to the known laws of science. Otherwise the idea runs the very real risk of becoming so convoluted and ridiculous it loses all its credibility and appeal.

Civilization & Culture:[edit]

Predators are portrayed as hyper-intelligent, strong and powerful with lightning fast reflexes and speed. They are hyper-vigilant, agile, fearless, intrepid, and gallant. Their culture is portrayed as radically advanced; they have mastered interstellar travel as well as faster-than-light travel (FTL), they have radically advanced technology, all of which points to a culture that has existed for eons. For comparison the Predator civilization is a class-III civilization on the Kardashev scale, whereas humans don't even yet qualify as a Class-I civilization.

Predators are portrayed as utterly merciless and relentless when in pursuit of prey and will use any and all methods, especially malice and guile, and will stop at nothing to obtain their quarry. It is clear from the movies and numerous comic books and various other literature that Predator culture is based on the ritual hunt and blood sacrifice or blood rite. From comic literature and what is seen in the films it is best to imagine Predator culture as gang culture with culture. Their culture has many parallel similarities with the feudal samurai (bushi) culture of Japan. In which the most honorable life is a glorious and honorable death in battle against a worthy opponent.

Predators are depicted as living for all aspects of the hunt. The ritual hunt is the backbone Predator culture. In many ways the hunt for Predators is similar to Norse mythology of the wild hunt. It is said in the 2010 film Predators that all aspects of the hunt are essential to the Predator culture. This is reinforced in the preceding 2004 film AvP.

We know from the films, comic books, and graphic novels, that all aspects of the hunt are essential to Predator culture. From preparation, to choosing the appropriate prey, the weapons to hunt it, studying it in its environment, tracking and stalking, tactics, to the kill itself, and of course the taking of trophies - head hunting. In the film Predators (2010) it is mentioned by Noland (Laurence Fishburne) that even the academics of the hunt are as important as the physical hunt itself. Especially the preparation and presentation of the trophy is not to be overlooked. All aspects of the hunt are art forms to be mastered by the Predator. Again very similar to feudal samurai culture.

In all Predator films Predators are depicted as being monomaniacaly methodical in their study, patience, and pursuit of their prey. They are portrayed stalking, observing, and studying their prey for days, weeks, as long as it takes to prepare themselves for the perfect kill. Predators use a variety of weapons to hunt prey. They use directed energy weapons such as plasma cannons and throwing weapons. But prowess and combat with edged weapons seems to be especially respected in Predator culture. Perhaps more than anything is the act of proving martial prowess and superiority in one-on-one combat against a worthy adversary or adversaries in battle. A Predator will disarm itself and throw down its weapons and armor and engage in hand-to-hand battle with worthy prey, or even multiple prey, to prove its martial prowess and superiority as not only a hunter-warrior, but also as a supreme species in all respects.

Several films make it clear, especially AvP (2004) that Predators not only search out the deadliest most worthy species as prey, they are depicted (Predator: Requiem 2007)) genetically manipulate and enhance them as well to make them even more deadly. Predators also create their own prey through genetic manipulation.

Types of Predators:[edit]

In the 2010 film Predators it is said there are two types of Predator. A larger type and smaller type, though that is a relative term with Predators. It is unknown if there is only a single species of Predator or several related subspecies. It is said the two subspecies are engaged in a type of blood feud. With the larger Predators hunting the smaller Predators. But in all likeness, the reserve on which the film takes place appears to be more a winner takes all, survival of the fittest, paradigm, where the last man (Predator) standing proves his worthiness to live on.

Overall it appears an average Predator would more or less the same size and weight as a present day Grizzly bear or Polar bear. That is about 8-11ft in height and between 800-1,200lbs. Their apparent variation in size is within the standard deviation. Humans range from just under 4 feet to seven feet or more. A 5-foot discrepancy in range. It appears Predators too fluctuate greatly with regards to size. The Predator (1989) appears to be 7 feet or so in height (the actor Kevin Peter Hall was 7ft 3in in height). From analysis of photos and scenes the Predators in AvP (2004)and the film Predators (2010) are between 8-11 feet in height. In line with the same standard of deviation as humans. Their weight is a little more ambiguous but sense they are humanoid and appear to have humanoid physiology and proportionality then a good estimate would be anywhere from 800-1,200lbs.


A Predator's reputation for brutal ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, along with the ability to kill prey many times larger than itself is well established in films and literature. In terms of strength, from what is seen in the films an adult Predator is incredibly powerful and very explosive in terms of strength. In the film Predator (1989) a Predator is seen lifting a grown adult human (Arnold Schwarzenegger) weighting 220-230lbs completely off the ground with one arm. This is seen again in the 2004 film AvP, and in several other Predator spinoffs. A Predator can generate at least 1 million-psi (689,475 newtons/cm2) with a single punch, approximately the force required to shatter a one cubic meter cement block (AvP 2004). A helpful comparison to put this into perspective, the force required to shatter a human skull is approximately ~2,300 newtons/cm2. The force required to break a human femur 4,000 newtons/cm2, and so on. The force required to decapitate a human from blunt-force trauma is generally ~5,600 newtons/cm2. A car wreck on the freeway at 60mph with an average person (150lbs) produces between 80,000-170,000 newtons/cm2 and is generally fatal even if restrained. The rough estimate required to break or fatally dislocate a human neck is more or less 3,000 newtons/cm2.

Based on the available information found in films and comic lituture about Predators, and with lack of further evidence we can use some generally accepted figures to make comparisons to demonstrate the hypothetical strength of a Predator, and point out some glaring discrepancies. A 500lb silverback gorilla is capable of lifting 2000kg (4,400lbs) roughly 9-15 times stronger than an adult male. A Heavyweight boxer can generate approximately 1,200-1,500psi with a well-placed punch. Legendary heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson routinely generated up to 1,700psi when measured with instrumentation. A Predator would then would be capable of generating roughly 940-times more power per strike than a heavyweight boxer. That’s 3,100 times greater than force required to crush a human skull; 1,780 times greater force than required to break a human femur; 1,270 times greater force than required to traumatically decapitate a human via blunt-force trauma; 3,730 times greater than the force required to break a human neck. However, this does present a few obvious issues with scenes in the various Predator films which depict a human male enduring a pretty nasty beating from a Predator. If a Predator is roughly the size of Polar bear or Grizzly bear, and can shatter concrete with a single punch (AvP 2004, Predator 2 1990), then it could very easily decapitate a human with the slightest slap. Again for comparison, there have been several observed instances of Grizzly bears decapitating adult bull moose and elk with a single swipe of a paw. In 1895 a Russian miner witnessed a Grizzly bear run down and jump on the back of bull moose then decapitate it with a single paw swipe. Alaska, 1954 Dr. Jacob MacDonaldson witnessed a Grizzly sow with cubs’ attack and decapitate a bull moose. He latter retrieved the moose head and found that the injury was consistent with impact/blunt force decapitation). Polar bears kill almost all their prey with a single paw strike to head crushing the prey’s skull.

(In another vernacular, given these rough figures a Predator would literally reduce a human to a gelatinous goo with a punch or two. And surely a single blow to the head or chest would be lethal. Not to mention a Predator could easily dismember a human. As seen in the films a Predator would be more than capable of tearing the back bone out of its victim, that is assuming there's anything left, and it hadn’t shattered all the bones to gravel.)

The only way to reconcile this discrepancy is if the Predator, like here on ‘real’ Earth, had advanced martial arts training, and was intentionally "pulling" its punches and was hobbling its prey with nonlethal strikes. This would be line with – of many other predators such as cats, weasels (wolverines, Honey badger), bears, wolves, orcas, humans, and so on. This kind of behavior is called 'blood lust' (Hematophagy) and seen in animals particularly in the weasel family. The weasel’s bloodlust is instinctual and legendary and triggered by movement. A freinzed weasel in blood lust, even on a full belly, will kill anything that moves and looks like prey. And to the tenacious weasel, pretty much everything looks like prey. Tiny weasels have been seen killing and carrying off animals twice, four times, and even 10 times their size. Scientists aren’t sure what purpose this behavior serves but it seems to be a physiological response to the physical and psychological effects of numerous hormones that are secreted during a fight or flight period. Predators too are said to have instinctual blood lust. And what is seen and written seems to support this as they are seen killing entire squads of people and carrying them away.

In other words, the Predator is playing with its kill. This would account for the prolonged beating human subjects are seen taking. It doesn’t account for however the ease with which humans seem to kill Predators.

Another fact that is very apparent is a Predators ability to sustain severe traumatic injury and recover almost immediate. Predators are seen in several films sustaining multiple bullet impacts from high powered assault rifles (AR-15 1,800J; AK-47 (1,991J) with minimal effects. However, in the film Predators (2010) it is shown that a .338 Lapua (6,525J) will fully penetrate a Predator’s body at point blank range. However, given that they are seen taking such immense physical punishment, it would only make sense they have evolved to heal and regenerate quickly, and are very resilient to traumatic damage. Most “real” predators have very similar abilities to recover quickly from injury and sustain a high degree of physical trauma with minimal effects.


Predator physiology is not well understood. Their blood appears to be phosphorus based. And their bones and bodily tissues are shown to be nearly indestructible. This is supported by the fact they are seen crushing concrete with their bare hands with a single punch (the mean force required to shatter an unreinforced concrete block is 7,117,154 newtons/cm2 (1.6 million psi)) with no ill effects. This is reinforced in the film Predators (2010) and AvP (2004) where they are seen being slammed into solid stone structures with such force the stone is explosively shattered, and again the Predator recovers with no ill effects and continues on fighting as though nothing happened. They can leap enormous distances as is seen in numerous films, and can jump with ease between trees and building tops. They seem impervious to many things, such as heat, cold, radiation, injury, pain, trauma, and recover and regenerate quickly from all forms of trauma. Though they are generally depicted as bipedal, they are seen to just as frequently travel quadrupedal, especially when traveling in dense vegetation and trees in pursuit of prey. When bolting given what is seen in the films and from comic lituture they seem to reach top speeds of 40-60mph (The fastest man of earth Usain Bolt ran a 19.95-second 200m and averaged 28mph) and appear to maintain those speeds for long periods of time.

With respect to the unique physiology seen in Predators the following scientific hypotheticals provide perhaps the best science based explanations. The exact function of the Predators unique mandibles is never explained. But coupled with their shape and the clicking sounds Predators are heard making throughout the films, and their exaggerated head size, may indicate a form echo location. Most 'real' predators don’t make noises to give away their location to prey. The exception of course is predators who use echolocation such as toothed whales, bats, ETC. Their sense of smell and hearing is also astounding as alluded to by Noland (Laurence Fishburne) in the 2010 film Predators.

The function of the long dreadlock like hairs found on the heads of Predators also remains a mystery. They are very similar to detection organs found on animals that use electroreception, electrodetection, and electrodefensive abilities. It is possible that Predators use these large hair-like structures like antennae for electroreception. Electroreception simply means the ability to detect electrical currents. Any muscular movement or simple biological activity produces an electric charge in living animals which can be detected. At hospitals, electrocardiogram machines track the electricity resulting from our heart beating (seen in Predators 2014). Sharks for instance can detect the tiniest changes in this electrical current, down to one-billionth of a volt [source: Fields]. If two AA batteries were connected 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) apart, a shark could detect it. [source: Viegas].

It is reasonable that Predators use these hair-like appendages to detect electric currents given off by their prey, in similar fashion as a shark uses its ampullae of Lorenzini detect electric impulses from prey. Animals which have sensory ability to typically have similar appendages to detect electric signals from prey often produce electric pules themselves, which they use in a similar fashion as sonar or echo location. As with many electrosensory capable organisms there’s a very good chance that predator’s produce an electric field or pulse as well. It would also explain why Predators prefer a humid hot environment. The increased water vapor in the air would allow electrical currents to pass through the air easier and enhance any electroreceptive and electrodefensive abilities. This might be supported in the 2014 film Predators a Super-Predator is depicted zeroing in on a human by possibly using electrodetection to detect the electric current of his heart.

Another supporting piece of evidence that would seem to suggest Predators have the ability to produce bioelectrogenesis is the fact they have phosphorus based blood. Bioelctrogenesis is the generation of electricity by an organism. In earth based biological cells, the Sodium-Potassium Exchanger maintains a voltage imbalance, or cell potential difference, between the inside of the cell and its surroundings. Also called a pump, the exchanger is said to be "electrogenic," because it removes sodium ions and potassium ions to produce an electric charge. Plant cells also exhibit light-induced electrogenesis which may explain why Predator blood glows phosphorescent yellow or green. Certain types of bacteria are able to generate electric currents which are used in microbial fuel cells. This might also explain certain aspects of Predator physiology if indeed the Predators are using it for the same purposes. However, the term usually refers to the electricity-generating ability. Organisms exhibiting such bioelectrogenesis often also possess sensitive and very accurate electroreceptive abilities and sensory antennae such as long hair like appendages (like the long hair like structures on the predator’s heads) as part of an integrated electric system. Electrogenesis may be utilized for electrolocation, self-defense, electrocommunication and sometimes for the stunning or electrocution of prey. If this is true it would add yet another supersensory ability to the Predator’s already impressive array of sensory abilities.

Predators' see in the infrared spectrum. They're helmet/mask gives them the ability to selectively choose a spectrum and waveband to view their surroundings. Their mask also always them to select particular frequencies to hear and extrapolate bearings and locations from the sounds they hear(Predator 1989, Predator 2 1990, AvP 2010, Predators 2014)

Predators' lifespan is not well understood, but it appears they live hundreds perhaps thousands of years. In Predator 2 (1990) a Predator elder gives Lieutenant Michael R. Harrigan (Danny Glover)a antique flintlock pistol as a trophy with the date 1715. Suggesting that the Elder Predator is at least 275 years of age, and likely much, much, older.


The ability of Predators to camouflage themselves using smart-skin technology is seen in all Predator films. This technology may be akin to metamaterials used here on earth. But it also plausible that Predators may possesses chromophores. These are pigment-containing and light-reflecting organelles in cells. They are largely responsible for generating skin and eye color in animals. Mature chromatophores are grouped into subclasses based on their color (more properly "hue") under white light: xanthophores (yellow), erythrophores (red), iridophores (reflective / iridescent), leucophores (white), melanophores (black/brown) and cyanophores (blue). It is speculated Predators can rapidly change color through mechanisms that translocate pigment and reorient reflective plates within chromatophores. This process, often used as a type of camouflage such as in squid and octopi, is called physiological color change or metachrosis. If this is the case, then Predators have complex chromatophore organs controlled by muscles to achieve this. Such signals can be hormones or neurotransmitters and may be initiated by changes in mood, temperature, stress or visible changes in local environment and can be used to communicate, as camouflage, ETC.

Predators, like cephalopods, could operate chromatophores in complex, wavelike chromatic displays, resulting in a variety of rapidly changing color schemes. Like chameleons on earth, Predators may use physiological color change for social interaction such a threat displays and mating. They are also very skilled at background adaptation, having the ability to match the color of their local environment with remarkable accuracy.

Conclusion of a human vs. Predator encounter (HvP)[edit]

The inevitable conclusion of a hypothetical humans’ vs Predators (HvP) encounter is this. Guns that go “BANG!” do not defeat guns that go “ZAP!”. Animals that evolved to forage for grubs and nuts do not defeat animals that have evolved to hunt for survival. Predators of any kind are generally larger and considerable more powerful than their prey (think: Great White shark vs. seal (GWSvS)), goat vs tiger (GvT), human vs bear (HvB)) We as a species can barely get off this ball of rock and mud we call earth. It is clear Predators have mastered FTL (Faster than light) travel. All of this radical or hyper advanced technology would require an intelligence vastly superior to our own. The very idea that any human might “outsmart” or “outwit” a Predator is laughable. The very notion that a human could stand toe-to-toe with Predator in any regard (physical or mental) is absurd from what we know from the films and lituture. We as a species are rather low on the food chain of your own planet. We can’t even fight off the “real” predators here on real earth. In other words, humans would be fodder for Predators.

The best explanation for many of these discrepancies are simply the writers aren't paying attention to details they've already laid out. It is possible to reconcile these discrepancies if one accepts the Predators' hunting on earth are adolescent and earth is essentially a training ground for them. This scenario is introduced in AvP (2004) where a temple is discovered and is interpreted as a place where young Predators' who are ready for the right of passage go to prove themselves by battling xenomorphs. The films Predator 2 (1990) and AvP (2004) show a Predator elder leading a group of younger Predators'. This would also seem to suggest Earth is like basic training for Predators' and the elder Predator is akin to Drill Instructor or a martial arts sensei, teaching the younger Predators the "art" of the hunt.


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