One aspect of A:C i thoroughly enjoyed was the introduction of the Neomorph as a perfect foil to the xenomorph species.
Life History traits of a 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 highly developed and formidable than the neomorph. They are also more apex predators and likely territorial.
The xenomorph's main weakness is their altricial offspring, who are vulnerable, weak and mostly defenceless upon birthing. The juvenile chestburster must escape and hide 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 aggressive violence even upon birth. They will quickly out-compete the indigenous sepcies 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 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.
Thanks dk. There are some very redeemable features to this film if you look, pay attention and appreciate it all. I finally cracked and went and saw it. I kept an open-mind despite all the criticism the film is getting. Its definitely not perfect, but beneath the surface is a very thoughtful film. The writer is clearly a evolutionist and ecologist trained enthusiast.....like myself
Good read! Neomorph's need to be featured again in Ridley's next instalment. Hopefully he delves into this relationship more.
TY Falconer. Im glad you enjoyed it. I hope so too, Maybe he can wrap it all up with the engineers, neomorphs and the actually first true xenomorph not the protomorph seen in A:C.
nice to see people look at it this way. Last time I read about r and K strategists was in relation to manatees - nice jump.
it has always made me wonder...does the chestburster evolve directly in the adult form we are used to seeing ? I've always wanted to see a hint of something in between explored in a slower movie perhaps...
Thanks sosse. I did a lot of ecology studies during my uni days, was my favourite subject. It's so fascinating how species evolve and adapt to suit their environment!
Its one big thing that I enjoy so much about the Alien franchise is being able to apply what I learnt to the Xeno's. For fictional monster's they highlight the extreme's of adaptive and evolutionary morphology so well.
Yes, so true!! All the movie's typically skip between the chestburster stage to full-grown adult. It would be great to explore the full growth of a xeno. It's the Xeno's only really weakness, their vulnerable juvenile stage.
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