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Alien Species

Yautja

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"If it bleeds, we can kill it. "
―Dutch
Predator
006
General Information
Other Names Yautja
Hish
Hunters
Universe AVP universe
Homeworld Yautja Prime
Height 2.0m - 2.8m
Diet Carnivorous or Omnivorous
Sapience Level Sapient
Behavior Predatory
Language Yautja (language)

The Predators are the primary alien antagonists of the Predator film series, they are a race of hunters that continuously seek human and other exotic prey both sapient and non-sapient.

In the various non-film media the Predator have been portrayed in a number of different ways, they are typically called the Yautja (e-wat-ya) in expanded material and the term has generally been accepted by fans and writers of the material.

However in two of the DH Press predator books, starting with Predator: Forever Midnight they are portrayed as the Hish-qu-Ten (Abbreviated as Hish), with seemingly no attempt to even loosely connect them with previous versions of the species.

Biology & Appearance

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. Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds and radiation doses which would be fatal to humans. They are much stronger than humans, having been portrayed as being easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human male and shattering solid concrete with their bare hands. They are also skilled climbers, and will readily move through trees or across rooftops in pursuit of prey. Though capable of surviving exposure in Antarctic temperatures for an extended period of time, it is implied that Predators have a preference for hot equatorial climates.

Blood

Consistently the blood of the Yautja has been portrayed as a luminous phosphorous green.

Dreadlocks

The dreadlocks are an iconic physical feature of the Yautja seen in every published material featuring them. In the films the Yautja wear what appears to be jewelry on them, and the Predalien eventually grew them (implying they are genetic).

  • (Alien vs. Predator: Hunters Planet) The first step toward becoming a warrior amongst the Yautja was the agony of the pleating of these locks, a process that took months of ritual and scalp pain, performed in public sessions. If there was any sign of tears or even the tiniest voicing of pain, then the intricate weavings would be undone, and the candidate had to start from the beginning.
  • (Alien vs. Predator, Film Novelization) The Yautja apparently use their "High Tech Dreadlocks" as scanning devices.
  • (Predator: Forever Midnight) The Hish apparently have flesh braids.
  • (Predator: Strange Roux) When the predators dreadlocks were shot off they bled profusely.
  • (Predator: Concrete Jungle, game)
    Dread-removed
    The members of the Dark Blade clan captured by Borgia Industries all had their dreadlocks removed for unknown reasons. As Hunter Borgia began to undergo genetic augmentation with Yautja DNA he began to develop dreadlocks similar to the Yautjas in place of hair.

Evolution

As the films are told from the perspective of human characters nothing is revealed about the creature's evolutionary history.

  • (Predator: Homeworld) During her experience with the species Dr. Bergstrom created several elaborate theories on the origins of the predator. She theorizes that the predator she met was on a pilgrimage to earth, driven by instinct to return to its species world of origin.

    Therapsids
    She theorized that the predators were descendants of primitive mammalian precursors called Therapsids that had somehow been taken away from earth by a greater intelligence to fulfill their evolutionary potential.

    Primitive-predator
    She also speculated that they may have evolved on earth, and simply have moved on after running out of challenges. There was not any considerable evidence to support any of her theories however, and they should be considered what they are... speculation.

Respiration

PREDATOR2-0

The Yautja in every film they have appeared in have worn masks to apparently aid in breathing, although in each film at least one member of the species either removes the mask or loses it, in no cases were any members of the species abilities hindered in a human atmosphere. In Predator 2 when the city hunter lost his mask he used a hand-held breath mask.

  • (Alien vs. Predator, 1990 comic) When the Predator leader was captured and restrained by the human colonists of Ryushi, the doctor Miriam Revna commented that the specimen appeared to breathe a mixture of Methane with traces of other common elements. This dialogue is absent from Steven Perry's novelization of the comic.
  • (Predator: Homeworld) They breathe 1% more oxygen, and 4% more nitrogen than humans. They can adapt to earth's natural gases, but it could only last for one week at the most.
  • (Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator) It is mentioned that they thrive in air that is rich with nitrogen.
  • (Predator: Captive) The captive Yautja was provided with a hot and humid tropical environment with a high methane-content atmosphere.
  • (Aliens vs. Predator vs. Terminator) Ripley 8 comments that the heavy air on the Yautja ship is nitrogen rich.
  • (Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species) It is commented that Big Mama can function in an earth-like atmosphere with some difficulty, but apparently the Yautja lungs evolved in a radically different ecosystem. The air on Big Mamas ship burned Caryn Delacroix's lungs like acid, and when she set the life support on the ship for human settings she noted an undertaste of methane. Later when other people attempted to enter the ship the methane atmosphere was confirmed.
  • (Predator: Forever Midnight) The Hish can survive twenty minutes under water because of a gas-sac that holds extra atmosphere.
  • (Predator 2: Novelization) When the Jungle Hunters mask was knocked off it was revealed that oxygen is poisonous to the Yautja and they do not survive long without their helmet in an earth-like atmosphere.

Reproduction

The subject of Yautja reproduction is not touched upon in the slightest within the films, there are many members of the species seen but none blatantly female by human standards.

  • (Alien vs. Predator: Prey) Female predators are apparently not hunters, but are still none-the-less equals in Yautja society and mentality. "Lou-dte kalei" was a derogatory term that was sometimes used to refer to females, it literally meant "child-maker." The warrior Dachande had never heard the name spoken to a female's face.

    It was apparently considered a very unwise thing to do or even consider, for an insulted and angry Yautja female was not something even a not-too-wise male wanted to create. Apparently an angered Yautja female is far stronger than even an armed male.

    Mating was considered pleasurable, one of Dachandes mates had tossed him across a room during the heat of their mating and that had been an accident. Females were known to howl in ecstasy during it and it is noted that there is apparently a breeding season.

    The females are larger and had milk glands of some sort, Dachande was not able to recognize a human female until he had seen her breasts. The children are referred to as "suckers" or "sucklings".
  • (Predator: Forever Midnight) The Hish are sequential hermaphrodites. They phase between genders involuntarily. Hish are known to always have 6 offspring, called spawnlings at a time. The different genders are almost unidentifiable but females can be told apart from their brighter colored flesh braids (dreadlocks) and purple mottling around the jaw.
  • Deadliest of the Species issue 1 The Female Predator !
    (Aliens vs Predator: Deadliest of the Species) A Female Predator (Called Big Mama) was seen in the comic and Shows only a little distinction from males. She does not appear to have any sort of noticeable mammary glands in the comic, but the covers show this differently. She was extremely protective and caring of her progeny and a powerful warrior.

Skeleton

Pred-skull-1

Not much is known about the Yautja skeleton, it has not been seen in full in any of the films. In Predators a Yautja skull was seen in the Super Predator trophy-site.

  • (Alien vs. Predator 1990, comic) Doctor Miriam Revna noted that Dachande had four cracked ribs.
  • (Predator: Concrete Jungle, game) Scarface collects the skulls of his three brain-washed clan-brothers, and Hunter Borgia has a Yautja skull as a, presumably decorative, part of his own armor.

Vision

It has been demonstrated clearly in every film that the Yautja naturally see on the infra-red bandwidth of light, most likely exclusively. This has been shown to be both a strength and a weakness, Dutch was able to avoid being seen by covering himself with mud in the original film, and Royce was able to blend in with another heat source.

Their vision can be altered or augmented with their masks, several different vision modes have been seen but their function has not been clearly defined. It should be noted that when the Jungle Hunter removed his mask his vision changed greatly, this has not been seen in any other film. there are numerous theories in the fandom as to why this is, the predominant one being that the relative temperatures of the jungle were very high and his mask aided in filtering them, this is supported by events in Predators.

Miscellaneous Biological Information

Various miscellaneous biological aspects have been given throughout the various published predator media that do not fit strict categorization.

  • (Alien vs. Predator 1990, comic) Doctor Miriam Revna notes that they have a completely different cell structure from the Xenormorph facehugger.
  • (Predator: Forever Midnight) The Hish possess what is called a "Kill Gland" a small cherry-red gland located beneath their clavicle that produces a dangerous hormone that causes the Hish to launch into a homicidal rage

Culture

Relations with Humans

There is clear evidence that there have been peaceful relations between the Yautja and Humanity with ancient civilizations that were discovered during AVP. We see flash backs of humans worshiping the Predators as Gods and deities, as well as performing human sacrifice so the predators could partake in their hunts of the Xenomorphs. It could also be said that the Yautja are the creators of some known human civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Aztecs from teaching humanity of architecture and other technologies.

Furthermore it has been seen that Humans have been noted by the Yautja as being warriors in their own right. This shows the behavior of the Yautjia when dealing with warriors not of their own kind and when recognized, a notion of respect is given. 

Government

There is virtually no indication of government in any of the films, the Yautja are portrayed as operating in groups with clear leaders but no indication of how they the society functions is given. In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem when a predator ship crashed it was shown there was a quick response to the situation, indicating a governing force that monitors the hunts.

  • (Aliens versus Predator: Extinction)
    Ancient-yautja
    The Yautja are governed by the Council of Ancients, it is shown that if a clan desires to have exclusive hunting rights to a planet they must be petitioned. It is also shown that they seem to have exclusive use of atomic weaponry in Yautja society.

Food & Drink

Virtually nothing of the predators eating habits is revealed in the films, the City Hunter from the second predator film did covertly raid a slaughterhouse for frozen beef.

  • (Alien vs. Predator: Prey) C'ntlip is a fiery Yautja brew that fogged mind and body with pleasure.
  • (Predator: Homeworld) The Yautja was observed eating the roots of an earth plant, it was speculated that he was guided to the root either through instinct or scent.
  • (Predator: Strange Roux) The Yautja in this comic is seen skinning and eating muskrats.

Clans

In Predator 2, Aliens vs. Predator, and Predators, the Yautja are clearly shown to be organized into groups (in expanded media these groups are almost universally referred to as clans and thus will be here). These groups seem to be somewhat familial with clear hierarchical structure and leaders, each of these clans in the films seems to have distinct technology and customs, although they are largely the same.

Known Clans

  • Dark Blade Clan (Predator: Concrete Jungle, game) - The Dark Blade clan is known for having unique plasma-forged weaponry, the clan came into conflict with Borgia industries and many of its clan members were abducted and experimented on but this rivalry was ended when Scarface killed Hunter Borgia.
  • Karepta Clan (Predator: Forever Midnight) - The leader of Clan Karepta launched an nuclear attack on a rival clan while under the influence of the kill gland.
  • Kuk Clan (Predator: Forever Midnight) - A Hish clan with exclusive control over Safari Planet 3998, the clan is led by Shesh-Kuk, it is unknown how many (if any) members of the clan survived the incident on their Safari Planet.
  • Killers (Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War) - The Killers were a Bad Blood clan of Yautja who were considered heretics by the mainstream Hunter Yautja. This was because the Killers did not engage in standard hunting practices but instead sought only to kill rather than hunt, which many Hunters found no honor in.
  • Lost Hunters (Predator 2, clan name from Predator Merchandise) - The clan that made a hunting ground of Los Angeles in 1997.
  • Lost Colony (Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator) - The lost colony was a Yautja clan that settled on earth 14,000 years ago in a volcano Viejo Abuelo living underground.
  • Super Predators - A group of large and hostile Yautja who seem to have a long-standing rivalry with another Yautja clan. These Yautja are a racially and culturally distinct group. Only three of them are known, and it is said by Robert Rodrigeuz the filmmaker behind Predators that they are outcasts, possibly having been sent to the game preserve planet as a form of punishment.
  • LV-742 Clan (Alien versus Predator: Extinction) - This clan was granted exclusive hunting rights to the planet LV-742, the Council of Ancients pitted this clan against another, and succeeded.
  • LV-742 Poachers (Alien versus Predator: Extinction) - This clan was also granted exclusive hunting rights to the planet LV-742 by the Council of Ancients this clan was wiped out by the other.

History

The yautja has had an extensive history of influence on Earth which includes teaching early human architecture.

Notes

  • Although they are never named Yautja on film, it is the name used in the slight majority of non-film sources, and thus is somewhat favored by this wiki.

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