Alien: Covenant
Neomorph & Xenomoprh life history traits

Neomorph & Xenomoprh life history traits

Scified2017-05-27 22:31:31
50,883 Reads11 CommentsAdd A Comment

One aspect of A:C i thoroughly enjoyed was the introduction of the Neomorph as a perfect foil to the xenomorph species.

The answer to this lies in the Life History traits of each species. 

Where the xenomorph's weakness lies, the Neomorph flourishes and visa versa. Together the two species/mutations form the perfect organism.

From an ecologist perspective there are two main types of life history traits in the animal kingdom: r-strategists and K-strategists. 

One could argue the Xenomorph is a K-strategist species. They are slow to reproduce (usually.....unless a plot device demands it), reproduce in smaller numbers with a focus on longevity and survival. They are much more developed and formidable than the Neomorph, and represent the apex predator of the 'Morph species.

The xenomorph's main weakness is their altricial offspring. This stage of their development is when they are at their most vulnerable; small, weaker and somewhat defenceless upon birthing. The juvenile chestburster prefers to escape and hide, allowing itself to develop itself into the killing machine it will become....if its not killed during this stage.

The Neomorph on the other hand are classical r-strategists. They develop rapidly with a quick life-cycle. They prefer to overrun and dominate an ecosystem through numbers rather than individual prowess.

HOWEVER, their young are precocial as we see in A:C. They are born capable, independent and ready to defend themselves violently if threatened.

When invading a new ecosystem the Neomorph can rapidly reproduce and thrive with their form of aggressive violence even upon birth. They will quickly out-compete all indigenous species and pave the way for the apex predator Xenomorph to grow; a species whose juveniles might be picked off in a new ecosystem.

So perhaps we are interpreting David's perfect creation wrong. The two species combined form a perfect invasive species, not one on their own, as they both have strength's and weaknesses. 

I appreciate A:C a great deal due to the contrasting Xeno species portrayed in the film. For what the film is, there is a great deal of subtle concepts in this film that people need to take the time to understand, you will find many riches.








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Written by I.RaptusPublished on 2017-05-27 22:31:31

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11 Fan responses to Neomorph & Xenomoprh life history traits


PraetorianMember3846 XPMay-28-2017 2:01 PM

I like your article a lot and I really dig Alien Covenant, most chestbursters seem to avoid conflict. With the exception of the Bambi-Burster (ignoring the one from AVP), most chestbursters are vulnerable at that stage, including the one in Covenant. 

Timmy the ultramorph

ChestbursterMember559 XPMay-29-2017 2:59 PM

I had a question. Are the neomorphs going to be important after the prequles. do you think that they are killed of before the events of alien and if not why arnt they in any nonprequal movies?


PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-29-2017 4:13 PM

Copied this from a thread where I was discussing such with a friend. :)

" Those are all extremely solid, and good points!! Neomorphs in a swarm situation would be just absolutely devastating.
A thought about Neomorph reproduction: They eat, grow and 'bud' off spore pods. Each and every one of them. You want mass-saturation and absolute domination of an area, a queen won't do it.
Say each one can 'bud' a mature spore pod once every day, times say 4 days, times say, 3 Neomorphs. Now each pod can potentially infect say, reasonably, 6 people/animals.
Now there's a terrifying, powerful and 'Alien' lifecycle system. ;)

For me however, I've got a LOT of work invested in The Alien and it's Origins (NOT David and NOT the Engineers) and it's lifecycle as well as establishing Set but reasonably-flexible time-lengths regarding the stages of it's life cycle that hollywood loves messing with.
Chestburster stage, my take on it, it's not as vulnerable as people think.
Consider the sheer strength needed to force it's way out through a human body? Now it's also Fast, and I'm pretty sure those jaws it has can partially unhinge like a snake's, yet still be able to support and conduct a LOT of muscle force for a truly horrible bite radius that'd likely go through a spacesuit gauntlet with NP.
It's also possible that Chestburster can spit acid, or something different but equally nasty. "


PraetorianModerator2414 XPMay-30-2017 2:04 AM

Timmy the facehugger Good question. The difficulty here is that these species are engineered mutations from experimentation with the "Black Goo". Not an organic invasion of a natural environment.

However, if you adhere to the Life History Traits mentioned above you could well argue that the Neomorph's in A:C work well as an early invader of the 'Morph Genus and that eventually the Xenomorph will become the dominant species.

I would really like to see the next film utilise the Neomorphs as a swarm-like invader as Blackwinter-witch says above. If they could 'Bud' spores daily (or even upon death) you could really set up a horrifying invasion that rapidly collapses a population of colonists. This would lay the foundation for the more formidable Xenomorph to establish dominance.  

Xeno's out-compete Neomorphs. Colonists are harvested. Eggs are produced. Lone survivor in the Derelict ship escapes. crashes on LV-426.


A L I E N    


PraetorianModerator2414 XPMay-30-2017 2:27 AM

Blackwinter-witch and Jerry Conaway I stand corrected on the Xeno Burster. As you both point out, it is not weak, vulnerable or defenceless at all. Thank you for pointing that out :-)   

The point I was trying to get across was that if the Xenomorph had a weakness (as small as it may be), it is this stage of it's life cycle.

The Neomorph's in A:C came out swinging. The xeno Chestburster seem to prefer to hide and grow before going on the attack. But as you pointed out, it can and will defend itself quiet capably if needed.




OvomorphMember66 XPMay-30-2017 2:44 AM

I imagine being attacked by a xenomorph chestbuster would be akin to an angry cat latching to your leg coupled with the whole squirrel in your pants scenario lol.   


PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-30-2017 2:53 AM


I conceded to you that the Chestburster is (as far as it goes) the most vulnerable stage of the Alien, relative to Facehugger and Big Chap. So we're good, right?.
BUT, I still think it'd be safer to cuddle a Hammerpede than annoy a chestburster, or corner one. :)


PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-30-2017 3:03 AM


LOL yeah, it would be Interesting...but not half as problematic as the scenario you provided. :D


PraetorianModerator2414 XPMay-30-2017 3:03 AM

Blackwinter-witch Yep all good :) just acknowledging your excellent points here and on the other thread.... Im not actually sure how I ended up with two threads for this topic :-/

Sorry all!

Falconer Lol. That gives a gives a very strange and frightening mental image!!!


FacehuggerMember389 XPMay-30-2017 3:20 AM

Interesting read. Thanks for sharing


OvomorphMember50 XPMay-30-2017 5:09 AM

Well, Happy to see that i am not the only one to think that the Neomorph is a better genocidal weapon than the Xenomorph. Thus if David goal is the extermination of human/humanoid races, then weaponised neomorph spores are way more effective/devastating than Xenomorph eggs. Ideally Juggernaut with black goo is even more potent ! If his goal is to design a relatively sophisticated being to hunt down reasonnable number of humans which can somehow defend themselves, then Xenomorph is a better weapon.

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