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The Yautja are an extraterrestrial tribal species from the other side of the Milky Way galaxy and have been coming to Earth to Hunt for centuries, maybe longer - although Dr. Bergstrom speculated their origins are here on Earth (Predator: Homeworld) since at least the 12th century (Predator: Nemesis), as records show. Some think that they may have hunted the dinosaurs into extinction (Predator: Homeworld). They have existed for a long time, dating back to at least the dawn of man (6 million years ago), and exist in 2389 A.D.
They have been associated with many stories, myths, and fables from the Choctaws cannibal spirit to rakshasa, even hoblings to will 0'wisps. They often afford the onlooker the merest glimpse of "shimmering air" across the rooftops or through thickly wooded forests.The sight is nevertheless unforgettable -- however one survives to remember.
Every so often, a Yautja will arrive at a planet with intelligent game and hunt them for trophies. Even the deadly species Aliens (Kiande Amedha) have had encounters with the Yautja. Their entire society revolves around on individual strength and the hunt, traveling from world to world in search of any formidable prey; however, as of yet they have not shown intentions of invasion.
They have their own code of honor: they show mercy to the young and the weak, slaughter and behead what they perceive as "worthy prey", and show respect and acknowledgment for their adversaries. On several occasions, when the prey has beaten the Yautja, the prey is let go; other Yautja will not avenge their comrade. In fact, should the Yautja still be barely alive, either will fall on his own blade or be willingly executed by other Yautja. The exceptions to this are "Bad Bloods".
They stalk and kill their prey using various weapons; high technology smart weapons of various kinds are often mixed with low-tech blades or spears. After killing their prey, they usually remove part of their body as a trophy, a cull if you will. This trophy is usually the skull and spine of their victim.
Yautja sometimes temporarily ally with another hunter from a different race to eliminate common threats, such as emergent Kiande Amedha infestation.