- "If it bleeds, we can kill it. "
The Yautja are the primary alien antagonist species of the Predator film series. They are portrayed as a race of hunters that continuously seek human and other exotic prey whether sapient or 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 (ya-OOT-ja) 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.
The Yautja species consists of mostly male Predators - the Predator females are a rare occurrence and there are only a few known ones.
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.
Consistently the blood of the Yautja has been portrayed as a luminous phosphorous green.
- Batman versus Predator (1991-1992): Batman had the opportunity to test some of the Predator's blood, its biochemistry was alien but still carbon based. Because of this he was able to use a wide-spectrum tranquilizer, with a dosage which in Batman's words could stop a herd of rhinos, to partially incapacitate the predator.
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).
- Aliens vs. Predator: Hunters Planet (1994): The first step toward becoming a warrior amongst the Yautja was the agony of the plaiting 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 weaving would be undone, and the candidate had to start from the beginning.
- Predator: Strange Roux (1996): When the Predator's dreadlocks were shot off they bled profusely.
- Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties (1997-1998): One of the Yautja hunting in Gotham had short dreadlocks that appear to be uniformly cut.
- Alien vs. Predator (2004 film novelization): The Yautja apparently use their "High Tech Dreadlocks" as scanning devices.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005 video game): The members of the Dark Blade clan captured by Borgia Industries all had their dreadlocks removed for unknown reasons. As the human Hunter Borgia began to undergo genetic augmentation with Yautja DNA he began to develop dreadlocks similar to the Yautja in place of hair.
- Predator: Forever Midnight (2006): The Hish apparently have flesh braids.
As the films are told from the perspective of human characters nothing is revealed about the creature's evolutionary history.
- Predator: Homeworld (1999): During her experience with the species Dr. Maya 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.
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.
- Predator 2 (1990 film 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.
- Alien vs. Predator (1990): 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.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species (1993-1995): It is commented that Predator "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 Mama's 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: Captive (1998): The captive Yautja was provided with a hot and humid tropical environment with a high methane-content atmosphere.
- Predator: Homeworld (1999): 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.
- Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator (2000): Ripley 8 comments that the heavy air on the Yautja ship is nitrogen rich.
- Predator: Forever Midnight (2006): The Hish can survive twenty minutes under water because of a gas-sac that holds extra atmosphere.
- Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator (2007): It is mentioned that they thrive in air that is rich with nitrogen.
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.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Prey (1994): Females 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 ("Broken Tusk") had never heard the word 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 Dachande's 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 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".
- Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species (1993-1995): A female (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.
- Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predators (2007): A clan of Yautja along with several females with infant Yautja have been shown, these Predators indicated to be living on a more tribal structure.
- Predator: If It Bleeds (2017) showed another female named Vagouti, who traveled to Earth with her mate for a hunt. Little description given about her, for example she seemed to be more calculative and hesitant to make an attack compared to her partner.
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): Doctor Miriam Revna noted that Dachande had four cracked ribs.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005 video 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.
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.
- Aliens vs. Predator (1990): Doctor Miriam Revna notes that they have a completely different cell structure from the Xenomorph facehugger.
- Predator: Forever Midnight (2006): 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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
- 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.
The yautja has had an extensive history of influence on Earth which includes teaching early human architecture.
- 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.
- A Predator makes an appearance in the game Mortal Kombat X as DLC. It can appear with or without its mask, but it does not appear to suffer any ill effects with its mask removed. It can also have two different types of mask. This depends on the three variations.