Yautja Encyclopedia: Biology


Remote ancestors of the Yautja were probably not the dominant species of their planet (like humans or wolves). But at some time, their immediate ancestor emerged, more intelligent, better adapted to hunting and cooperative hunting techniques. As with most evolutionary tales, several species of Yautja may have developed over the centuries. Eventually, the current species became the world's dominant predator.


Natural/Sensory Abilities:

Life Spans

One of the most pronounced differences between humans and Yautja is longevity, sometimes as long as 1000 years. It is unknown what effects this has to a Yautja, especially mentally, once they attain such an elevated age. There may be a specter of dementia. Thus, their bodies would become masses of writhing tumors or the mere containers of inoperative brains.

The Yautja that have seen to have lived to 1000 years appeared not to be suffering any ill-effects. -


FaceShot -

Are the Yautja Shape Shifters?

Puffers and Snakes Terrestrial animals exhibit some flexibility in their shape and color.

In reading the novelization of the movie, Predator, this gives the suggestion that the Yautja was indeed some form of shape-shifter.

"It somehow discerned living tissue from inanimate objects by picking up heat patterns of living cells. It saw the outlines of all living creatures shaded with a sort of liquid color that was the pulse of the heat of life. But 'saw' is very imprecise, for it only had eyes when it felt like having eyes. It was like a lost soul searching for a form in which to flower."

"Since it needed no earthly form of its own beyond what it chose to assume, it was incapable of feeling emotion toward any of the earthling tribes."

"It was impossible to say to look, whether monkey or crow or something more mutant. If one of the men had looked straight into the leaves with binoculars, he might have caught the yellow gleam of an eye, but the eye was only a nexus of nerves, spun from its own secretions like an insect's nest."

"It quickly searched the surrounding sky till it settled on a hawk sailing gracefully by, its wings held perfectly still while the heat-soaked air currents wafted it like a billowing schooner. The unearthly intruder followed the bird's flight with its heat vision. Then, with its sixth sense power of capture, it zeroed in on the hawk's presence, it's mind steering the bird toward it like some remote-controlled toy."



Evolution - General

The path of evolution is not linear. It depends on planet specifics (gravity, atmosphere composition, temperature, length of day) and random astrological/geological events (e.g., star age, large meteor impacts, ice ages).

40,000 years ago, modern humans first appeared. There are ties between them and earlier ancestors. The world was different in terms of the environment and of animals that roamed the planet. There were even other kinds of humans living concurrently, if not in proximity to modern human ancestors. Another 30,000 years hence and they had completely covered the globe - and all remaining proto-humans were gone, (along with several other animal species). Yet since the arrival of modern humans, we are in essence the same humans that wandered the earth 40,000 years ago. All the basic drives - instincts - are still with us. Even though we have the capacity for change, physical evolution is at a standstill. The aspects of nature that produces change have been mitigated or eliminated in human culture.

Evolution - Yautja

Dr. Bergstrom

Yautja evolved as the dominant carnivorous species on their world. Covered mostly with extremes of sweltering swamps and burning deserts, the average temperature runs between 190 degrees Fahrenheit! As with most species, their society was forged in the heat of wars that lasted for eons. They fought mostly for the hunting rights of a region, and only the strong survived.

Eventually, as the wars subsided due to attrition, their species settled on one final way to establish dominance: Competition and the Hunt. Individual combat always took place as a hand to hand event, wearing only a loincloth, and relying only on personal strength. When they were finally contacted by another species, hoping to settle on a little used continent far from the Yautja; the response was more than easy to predict. Several landing craft set down, and returned to the mother-ship, loaded with irate hunters. They defeated the would-be colonists easily, and took to the stars.

"Different predators require responses, you know. With some, you must stand your ground, or they perceive you as prey. While with others, confronting them is seen as a challenge."

(Dr. Bergstrom, Predator: Homeworld #2)



Dr. Bergstrom theorized that the Yautja encountered in Yellowstone (1999) was on a pilgrimage to Earth, to return to its roots, to their spawning grounds, following some homing instinct across space. There are so many gaps on the evolutionary chart. Creatures that apparently disappeared virtually overnight. Her theory was that these creatures were from Earth's distant past, evolving from some ancestor, a proto-mammal or some such. They had escaped the mass extinction other races had succumbed to.

Maybe they did evolve here. The mountains were once full of the biggest game there is (dinosaurs, etc.). They could have survived, and having run out of challengers, moved on. Conditions were different where they went. Somebody once speculated that if crocodiles had better circulation, they would be dragons.

Migratory animals use magnetic fields to navigate. Perhaps there is some kind of conductivity in space. Perhaps their ships pick it up. This is why it's a rare privilege to return. Normally one like the tattooed Yautja would be allowed, but not the Bad Bloods.