Alien: Covenant
The not-so-perfect organism

The not-so-perfect organism

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Burke, Carter J.

OvomorphMember46 XPJun-18-2017 12:13 AM

So here's something that bugged me ever since watching Alien: Covenant.

I'm guessing if Ash had ever encountered the the Neomorph before, he never would have called the Xenomorph "the perfect organism".

Because man, those buggers are lethal! Their entire means of reproduction is almost flawless: An airborne spore emitted from a pod that doesn't look threatening to it's prey infects it's host without it ever noticing it. The Neo the develops very quickly, kills and destroys it's host upon birth and is vicious and lethal from the very beginning. No need for it to go into hiding. It matures just as quickly, within a matter of hours, and becomes even more deadly.

There are a few flaws here in comparison to the Xeno though: The infected host quickly shows signs of infection, very noticeably so, which gives surrounding people a chance of killing the host before the Neo can hatch. The Neo is soft and fleshy, even though it can take a beating, it lacks the acidic blood as a defensive mechanism. The Neo has a need for oxygen intake. We can see it breathing during it's encounter with David. And lastly, it apparently needs to feed. It consumes it's prey for nourishment.

Now let's take a look at the Xeno: It's reproduction is somewhat convoluted. First there's the Ovomorph, which by the way looks highly suspicious to begin with. A host has to come very close to the egg for it to hatch, admittedly to too different from the spore pods, which have to be touched or stepped on. The facehugger hatches in the hopes that it's prey even has a face. It then incapacitates the host while it lays it's seed. During this process it is very vulnerable, even though it basically hardens it's akin to protect it from it's environment. Now granted, when the host wakes up, it has no memory of what had just happened and it can vary the seed into more populated areas. Until the chestburster emerges, it doesn't know it's infected and doesn't even show signs of infection until the alien bursts from it without warning. The newly born chestburster is now highly vulnerable and needs to go into hiding immediately. Once fully grown, the Xeno is then superior to the Neo, no argument there. It has a exoskeleton, very hard to penetrate, and even if penetrated, it's acidic blood makes it almost more dangerous when it's wounded. It has no need for oxygen or even atmosphere at all and it doesn't need to eat or needs to eat only very little.

So in comparison, the Fully grown Xeno is more perfect then the Neo, but it's entire means of reproduction is so complicated, that the Neo seems to be the evolutionarily more advanced species.

Something of note here though, we don't know if the Neo can produce spore pod by itself, so if the pod really were a product of the ecosystem being exposed to the black goo, or a more refined product created by David using the black goo, then there's the one big flaw in the Neo's reproduction.

I wonder what Ash would have had to say about the Neomorph.

So what do you think? Which is the true "perfect organism" here?

I'm really an ok guy.

10 Responses to The not-so-perfect organism


OvomorphMember59 XPJun-18-2017 2:05 AM

You are right, the xenomorph's reproduction is more complicated and could be more vulnerable than the neomorph. 

But about hé spores... It's a haploid type reproductive system, which means, it can't adopt itself well, if the environment changes because of some reason. So at this point it's more vulnerable than the Ovomorph. If it's a spore and só it's haploid, the neomorph products that small kind of mushrooms (??? in the picture you linked) itself, there's no queen etc.

The xenomorph should be diploid, especially if it based on human reproductive system. So it can react to the environmental changes better. But of course, I don't know any details about their biology, I'm just guessing.

Answering to your thoughts... As you mentioned above: maybe the xeno isn't that perfect ín the "childhood", but in the end it's stronger than the neomorph. The facehugger can attack just special species, this ensure it's development. 


PraetorianMember2861 XPJun-18-2017 5:20 AM

Working out through more science, biology, and related sciences-stuff than I really want to think about allowed me to come pretty close to an Organism in which 'It's structural perfection is matched only by it's hostility'.

Or 'The Perfect Organism' insofar as such a thing can exist in our universe.

ALIEN: Manticore will re-introduce you all to The Alien (not some knock-off 'xenomorph' bastardized droid-experiment) That's why I've been so scarce around here of late, I spend much of my day working on my books, and just because ALIEN: Manticore is fan-fiction does not mean I treat it as less-important, nor do I give it any less effort.

I am really looking forward to introducing you all to what I hope is everything Giger and R. Scott could want from their creation in it's being and biology.





Burke, Carter J.

OvomorphMember46 XPJun-18-2017 6:20 AM

@ esther85

You're right, the ovomorph does provide a lot more protection than the spores do. And yes, while the spores could potentially infect any species, that does make it prone to genetic inferiority, while the facehugger only being able to infect certain kinds of species gives the Xeno it's genetic "purity" as Ash said himself. You have some very good points there.

I'm really an ok guy.


OvomorphMember29 XPJun-18-2017 6:51 AM

The Xenomorph is perfect once it reached maturity. It is vulnerable in earlier stages, yes. But it also has the element of surprise. You gotta consider that rarely anyone ever encountered as many Xenos as Ripley and survived even one encounter.

So whoever encounters an Ovomorph, a Facehugger or even a Chestburster won't even know what he just saw, giving the Xenomorph time to develop.

Now that we definetely know that the Xeno has no need to breathe or eat, we can perfectly assume that it is perfect. Atleast in space.

Burke, Carter J.

OvomorphMember46 XPJun-18-2017 6:56 AM

@ Benni_RoR

Yes, it is truly a Star Beast.

I'm really an ok guy.


FacehuggerMember457 XPJun-18-2017 8:14 AM

When David confided to Walter that he had created the perfect organism, he was talking about the Xeno that had recently burst out of Captain Oram. He wasn't talking about the Neomorph.


PraetorianModerator2414 XPJun-18-2017 2:55 PM

If the Xenomorph and Neomorph were introduced into an ecosystem and left to do their thing (without human intervention) what you find would happen is called Trophic Cascading. The Neomorph is a classic r-strategist. It would rip through the indigenous species and establish itself. However it is a meso-predator, if left unchecked it would annihilate the biodiversity of the ecosystem and eventually exhaust all resources and die off. The Xenomorph is an Apex predator. It's role is to keep the meso-predator population in check and maintain a stable Carrying Capacity of the ecosystem.

Both species are "perfect" in the sense of the archetypical roles in ecology

Nathan Adler

FacehuggerMember178 XPJun-19-2017 12:37 AM

@IRaptus: Where is your evidence that the Xenomorph would keep the meso-predator population in check?


PraetorianModerator2414 XPJun-19-2017 3:55 AM

Nathan Adler no proof brother. I was trying to apply what I know and understand about Ecology (a personal interest) to an alien environment with alien species. Just my brain trying to slot our beasties into established patterns in doesn't work neatly lol.   

That being said, in all likelihood both species are so hyper-aggressive they would likely directly and indirectly destroy all life very quickly, including themselves. 




FacehuggerMember380 XPJun-19-2017 5:40 AM

I think Ash was trying to scare the remaining survivors into believing their fate was sealed.  I think he knew it could be destroyed.  In Aliens, we knew fire could hold them back and he just suggested fire as a possible option in Alien.

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