Alien Species

The Viperwolf, known as Nantang by the Na'vi, is a canine-like hexapod indigenous to Pandora.

The species has a lean, powerful torso, and evolved to travel swiftly over long distances in search of prey. Very few predators (the Mountain Banshee among them) will attempt an attack on a viperwolf. Viperwolves nearly always move in packs that can mass into a highly cooperative hunting party within seconds.

A group of them attacks Jake Sully when he gets lost in the jungle. He tries to fend them off with fire, to no avail. It is only a reluctant rescue by Neytiri that finally saves him. Others attack marines during the last part of the assault on the Tree of Souls.

Physiology, Anatomy and Biology[]


Female with pups.

Its paws include opposable thumbs, allowing it to climb trees as well as stalk from the ground, thereby creating a three-dimensional hunting field. When stalking prey, the viperwolf is able to reduce its profile by hugging the ground or clinging to tree limbs. The Viperwolf's dark skin also provides camouflage. Thus hidden, a viperwolf can often approach within a few meters of unsuspecting prey, and then attack with frightening efficiency. One xenobiologist describes this graceful, ominous movement as “liquid darkness.”

Only months after birth, a viperwolf pup is required to hunt on its own. However, the pups mature swiftly and grow to half the adult size by their sixth month. By then, they also have a full set of teeth and their jaw muscles are almost mature. Viperwolf young are playful, in much the same manner as that of terrestrial canid pups or ursid cubs.

Although vicious during combat and hunting, viperwolf mothers treat their pups in a gentle, loving way.

Racial Abilities[]

The ratio of brain mass to body weight of the average adult viperwolf indicates a high order of mental processing, pattern recognition, and communication skills.

Packs of viperwolves are fiercely territorial. Scent-marking, hunting, and defending their vulnerable — including expectant mothers and newborns cubs — are just a few ways viperwolves fend off incursions, especially by other rival viperwolf packs

Their keen, intelligent green eyes can see as clearly at night as in the day. Their long distance vision is only moderate, but their depth perception is superb. Their sense of smell is second to only the Thanator (based on the few creatures who have been measured to date). It is believed that a viperwolf can sense prey from more than eight kilometers (five miles) away.

Viperwolf jaws can exert four kilograms of pressure per square centimeter (9 pounds per square inch), enough to easily crush bone, or even stone.


The pack appears to communicate information about the potential prey or predator with facial tics, paw gestures and audio cues.

The viperwolf hunts in small groups, communicating with coyote-like barks, hyena cackles and snake-like hissing.


  • The sounds of the viperwolves came from hyenas and coyotes.
  • Their hiss sounds were recycled from the Velociraptor's from the Jurassic Park series.
  • This species' scientific name translates to "striped armored wolf".