Humans, known taxonomically as Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man"), are the only living species in the Homo genus of bipedal primates in Hominidae, the great ape family. Anatomically modern-appearing humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago, reaching full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago.
Humans are noted for their desire to understand and influence their environment, seeking to explain and manipulate phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills, which are passed down culturally; humans are the only species on Earth known to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves, and use numerous other technologies. The study of humans is the scientific discipline of anthropology.
Humans are omnivorous creatures that lack a thick coat of fur and have skin that varies from the palest cream to darkest brown. Hair comes in black, brown, blond, and red colors with a wide range of textures. They are built more for endurance than speed, like a more apex predator would be, and lack claws, sharp canines, venom, great strength, or anything else that would make up the usual effective predator. However, their intelligence and tool-making makes up for this lack.
Although humans are by far inferior in physiology and technology as opposed to the Yautja and Engineers, their intelligence proved to be their greatest weapon. Humans survived many climatic changes in the world such as the Ice Age, and encounters with prehistoric beasts, humans managed to survive by adapting to their environments and evolution. They lack the superior strength and physicality of other species, but they always managed to defeat their opponents by cunning and guile. Among those were Ellen Ripley, Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, Mike Harrigan and Lex Woods. As generations grew, humans advanced in technology, specifically space travel and weaponry. Another one of their greatest weapons is their ability to socialize and idealize. They are extremely dangerous in groups, prompting Xenomorphs and Yautja to attack them alone or separate the group, in order to weaken them. In weaponry, humans present an arsenal of dangerous weapons from the Pulse Rifles to Nuclear Weapons.
The Yautja hunted humans for sport, but also respected them as combat equals. Any human who has killed a Yautja or helped them is respected and sometimes awarded with an item and on rare occasions allowed them into the clan. The humans proved a dangerous Hunt for the Predators, as to the reason why the Yautja uses stealth tactics as attacking armed humans directly would be dangerous.
Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the hands for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools and resources than any other living species on Earth. Other higher-level thought processes of humans, such as self-awareness, rationality and sapience, are considered to be defining features of what constitutes a "person".
Like most higher primates, humans are social animals. However, humans are uniquely adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations, cities to kingdoms, and tribes to empires. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of human society. With individuals widespread in every continent except Antarctica, humans are a cosmopolitan species. As of July 2017, the population of humans on Earth was estimated to be about 7.5 billion.
An advanced humanoid species known to humans as Engineers, were responsible for the creation of humanity and all life on Earth. Approximately at Circa 3.2 Billion BC, a lone Engineer ingested a strange liquid and sacrificed himself to seed Earth with the building blocks of life.
Early extraterrestrial contact
Humans first originated on the planet Earth, where they were little more than savages and barbarians. However, they were discovered by the hunter species the Yautja. These "Predators" taught the humans how to build. In turn, the humans worshiped the Yautja and served as hosts for a parasitic species known as Xenomorphs. The Yautja used the Xenomorphs as prey, killing them for honor as both sport and a rite of passage for young Yautja. Every hundred years, the Yautja would return to Earth, breeding Xenomorphs from the human hosts. However, one of these trials went awry, with nearly thousands of Xenomorphs running wild. Outnumbering the three Yautja trainees, the final surviving warrior detonated his Self-Destruct Device, wiping out the entire ancient city in what is now Antarctica.
Humanity was not extinguished there, however. They spread across their planet, growing and evolving. Ultimately, they began warring against each other for a variety of reasons. Every hundred years, the Yautja would return to Earth to breed Xenomorphs to hunt, once wiping out an entire whaling team in Antarctica in 1904.
Exploration and colonization of space
Humans would still have incidents with the Yautja outside of the Predators' training attempts. In 1987, a group of commandos led by Alan "Dutch" Schaefer were in Val Verde, Guatemala, under orders to rescue a presidential cabinet member that was captured by the local guerrilla forces. During their mission, several members of the squad were brutally and mysteriously killed; they became aware that something unknown was stalking and hunting them throughout the jungle. Soon, only Dutch and a local refugee named Anna Gonsalves remained alive. Dutch sent Anna to the rescue helicopter unarmed, believing the hunter only kills those that are armed. After the creature revealed itself as a masked, bipedal alien, Dutch covers himself in mud to mask his body's heat signature. After a tense battle, Dutch narrowly managed to trap and wound the creature. Rather than admit defeat, however, the Yautja activated its Self-Destruct Device. It was killed, but Dutch barely fled just in time to escape the blast. He would tell the government of his encounter with the Predator, spawning humanity's first recorded knowledge that they were not alone in the universe.
They would again meet the Yautja ten years later, in 1997. In Los Angeles, during a vicious gang war between Columbian gangs, Jamaican gangs, and the thinly spread police, a Yautja ship arrived in the city, where a single Yautja was hunting armed humans from all three factions, as well as civilians. A detective, Mike Harrigan, became aware that "there was a new player in town" after finding the corpses of gang members, all violently killed. He began tracking the Yautja down, with the help of his team, but not before two members of his team were killed. Harrigan was then captured by Special Agent Peter Keyes, and informed of the true origins of the predator. They had known about the Yautjas since 1987, when Alan "Dutch" Schaefer reported the incident at Val Verde, and intended to capture the creature for technological advancement. Although the plan went awry and Keyes' entire team was slaughtered, Harrigan engaged the Yautja at a meat packing plant, injuring it and following it to the predator's ship, where he killed it using its own weaponry. The other Yautja honored his honorable victory by giving him an authentic flintlock pistol from the 1700s. The predator ship then took off into space, leaving Harrigan on Earth. The remains of Keyes's team were furious that Harrigan let the Predators escape. Harrigan told them that "they would get another chance", implying the Yautja would return to Earth someday.
In 2004, a Weyland Industries station detected a heat bloom underneath Bouvet Island, Antartica. A team, led by Charles Bishop Weyland and Lex Woods, journeyed to Antarctica to investigate the Pyramid they discovered with the satellite photos. They discovered a tunnel that went all the way down to the Pyramid. They descended deeper into the Pyramid, claiming the three Plasmacasters they found as their own. They came under attack by three untried Yautja warriors and Xenomorphs that had hatched from eggs which the Queen, awoken by the pyramid's activation, laid. Soon, only one human remained alive, after the rest, even Weyland had been killed, leaving Lex Woods the only survivor. She allied herself with the last remaining Yautja and set out to destroy the Xenomorphs. The Yautja detonated its Self-Destruct Device and they escaped the Pyramid. They got to the surface, but a Queen Xenomorph had escaped the blast and followed them to the surface. A battle ensued, ending with Lex killing the Queen, but the Yautja had been mortally wounded. As the Predator died, the mother ship decloaked and carried the fallen warrior's body away. The Elder Predator saw the mark of the Warrior on Lex's cheek and awarded her with his tribal spear. Unknown to either the Yautja or Lex, the fallen warrior had a Chestburster inside it. As the mother ship sped away from Earth, the Chestburster exploded from the dead Yautja. The Chestburster was revealed to be a Predalien, a hybrid of the Xenomorphs and the Yautja. The infant Predalien snuck aboard a scout ship to grow.
The scout ship detached from the mother ship and flew away, with the Predalien inside. The now mature Predalien began to kill the few Yautja on board, resulting in the scout ship crashing towards Earth. It landed in Gunnison, Colorado. Several facehuggers that were in captivity on board the scout ship broke free into the woods, impregnating a father and son hunting. The only surviving Yautja managed to activate a distress signal, just before he was killed by the Predalien. The Xenomorphs began to spread through the sewers. They broke out and began to infest the small town. A small group of survivors, Sheriff Morales, Kelly O'Brien and her daughter Molly, and the brothers Ricky and Dallas Howard, decided to find a way to escape. They made their way to the gun store, being hounded by the Xenomorphs, and a Yautja warrior that had received the distress signal. The National Guard arrived, but was ambushed by the Xenomorphs. The survivors managed to call Colonel Stevens, who claimed that an airlift would be waiting for them in the middle of town. Sheriff Morales believed him, but Kelly felt something was wrong. She took her daughter and Dallas and Ricky to the hospital, where the Predalien had made a hive, to escape on board the medical helicopter, while Morales rallied the surviving citizens in the city center for the airlift. They fought through the battling Xenomorphs and Yautja warrior, where Dallas recovered the Predator's dropped Plasmacaster, which he used to buy time for Kelly to activate the helicopter. Just as they escaped, the government dropped a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, wiping out the Xenomorphs, Yautja, and surviving citizens. The helicopter crashed into the woods, where they were rescued by U.S. soldiers. They confiscated the Plasmacaster from Dallas and turned it over to Colonel Stevens. Stevens took the gun to Ms. Yutani, who said, "The world isn't ready for this technology..." to which Stevens replied, "But this isn't for our world, is it Ms. Yutani?" The humans now had Yautja technology.
In 2010, a group of humans were dropped onto a game preserve planet for a hunt conducted by the Super Predators. They are assaulted by hunting hounds and barely manage to fend them off before the creatures are recalled. When the survivors regroup, they realize Cuchillo is missing. They avoid a trap and press on, arriving at a hunting encampment with a Jungle Clan Predator tied up. Three cloaked, larger Predators attack them, killing Mombasa and forcing the rest to jump down a waterfall to evade death. Pressured by the others, Isabelle eventually reveals she knew of the creatures before from a report given by the only survivor of the Special Forces team in Val Verde in 1987.
The group then meets Noland, a lone soldier who has survived on the planet for "10 seasons" by hiding and scavenging using the Predators' technology. He explains that the Predators sharpen their hunting skills by collecting warriors and dangerous beasts from other worlds and bringing them to this planet to hunt. Noland also reveals that the Predators hunt in threes, and that there is a blood feud between the larger Predators and the smaller ones. Royce hopes that if the group can free the smaller Predator being held prisoner at the encampment, it may help them get home using the other Predators' spaceship.
However, Noland, driven mad by years of isolation and looking to obtain the group's supplies, attempts to murder the group in a fire during the night. Royce uses an explosive to attract the Predators, who kill Noland. In the ensuing chase, the group is separated, and Nikolai sacrifices himself to kill one of the Predators using an explosive while the remaining five survivors escape. Stans savagely attacks a second Predator with his shiv to buy the others time, and is killed. Hanzo stays behind and duels the third Predator in a wide field with a katana, slaying it but succumbing to his own wounds shortly after.
Edwin is injured by a trap as he, Royce, and Isabelle head for the encampment. When Isabelle refuses to abandon him, Royce leaves them both behind and they are caught in a net by the remaining large Predator. Royce frees the smaller Predator and heads for the ship as the two Predators confront each other. The larger Predator kills the smaller one and then destroys the ship as it takes off. Meanwhile, Edwin paralyzes Isabelle with the neurotoxic poison on his scalpel (having collected the poison beforehand) and reveals that because he was a murderer on Earth, he feels that he fits in on this planet among the monsters. Royce appears, never having boarded the ship, and realizes Edwin's true motives after seeing Isabelle paralyzed before stabbing the doctor in the chin with his own toxin-laced scalpel.
Royce booby-traps Edwin with grenades, using him as bait to disorient the Predator. A fight ensues in which Royce, who covers himself in mud to hide his body heat from the Predator's thermal vision technology, successfully decapitates the Predator, with Isabelle providing sniper support. The next day, as Royce and Isabelle recover from their ordeal, they observe more prey parachuting into the jungle. Royce, surmising that more Predators will soon arrive to hunt the new prey, tells Isabelle that they must find another way to get off the planet, as they head into the jungle together.
Humanity's technology advanced and grew, as the humans exhausted Earth's natural resources. They expanded into space, and in 2122, the cargo ship Nostromo received a distress signal from LV-426. The ship landed on the planet where they found a derelict ship. While searching the ship they found "the Space Jockey/Pilot" and numerous Xenomorph eggs seemingly in some form of stasis. One of the Nostromo crew named Kane attempted to get a closer look at the eggs, however it instead opened and a Facehugger latched onto Kane's face. After much arguing about contamination protocol among the crew they finally decided to let Kane on board. The crew studied the creature on Kane's face and attempted to cut the creature off, but this proved almost disastrous due to the acidic nature of the creatures blood. After a few hours the Facehugger let go. At dinner Kane began to shake and have chest pains. He was then laid on the table where a Chestburster punched through his chest and ran off. The crew stood in horror at the sight they had just witnessed.