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 deficiency.
Although humans are by far inferior in 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 Xenomorphs, Yautja and Engineers but they always managed to defeat their opponents by cunning and guile. Among those notable for their ability to survive the toughest situations and display the best characteristics of human nature were Ellen Ripley, Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, Mike Harrigan, Lex Woods, Royce, Elizabeth Shaw and Janet Daniels. 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 could be extremely dangerous in groups, prompting Xenomorphs and Yautja to attack them alone or separate the group, in order to weaken them. On the subject of weaponry, humans present an arsenal of dangerous armaments from Pulse Rifles to nuclear arms.
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, in spite of their superior physical strength, endurance and agility, 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, colonies 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. 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 later originated on 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 eventually became 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 on Antarctica's Bouvet Island in 1904.
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 killed those bearing arms. After the creature revealed itself as a masked, bipedal alien, Dutch covered himself in mud to mask his body's heat signature and, following a tense battle, 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.
Humankind would again meet the Yautja ten years later in 1997. In Los Angeles, during a vicious gang war between Colombian 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. 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 duly captured by Special Agent Peter Keyes and informed of the true origins of the Predator. They had known about the Yautjas since 1987, when 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 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, but Harrigan later implied that the Yautja would return to Earth someday.
Harrigan would be proven correct. In 2004, a Weyland Industries station detected a heat bloom underneath Bouvet Island and a team led by Charles Bishop Weyland and Lex Woods journeyed to Antarctica to investigate the Pyramid Weyland's outfit had discovered with satellite photos. They discovered a tunnel that led directly to the Pyramid and descended inside, claiming the three Plasmacasters they found there as their own. The team was attacked by three untried Yautja warriors and Xenomorphs that had hatched from eggs which the Queen, awoken by the pyramid's activation, had laid. Protracted battles throughout the structure left Lex Woods the only survivor, and so 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 reached the surface, but a Queen Xenomorph had escaped the blast and followed them. 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. Unbeknownst to them, the Predator now carried a hybrid Predalien Chestburster.
The maturing Predalien began to kill the few Yautja on board, resulting in the scout ship crashing towards Earth, where 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 infest the small town and a group of survivors including Kelly O'Brien and Dallas Howard decided to find a way to escape. After a harrowing battle against the Predalien and various Xenomorphs, Dallas recovered a Predator's dropped Plasmacaster, which he used to buy time for Kelly to activate a helicopter. 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. The authorities confiscated the Plasmacaster from Dallas and turned it over to Colonel Stevens. Stevens took the gun to a Ms. Yutani and informed her of the possible applications for the weapon.
In 2010, a group of humans were dropped onto a game preserve planet for a hunt conducted by the Super Predators, among them Royce and Isabelle. Though many of the humans present were killed by the Predators, Royce and Isabelle survived.
Exploration and colonization of space
Humanity continued to expand into space as the years passed, with human corporate outfits such as Weyland Corp and Seegson facilitating extraterrestrial travel and habitation, and longer-established companies such as Caterpillar and JCB providing vital equipment. The Engineers were a primary focus of some of these forays, in particular the Prometheus expedition, which would have significant fallout affecting humankind's journeys across the stars. Colonization of other worlds as Earth's resources dwindled came to the fore in the early 22nd century, and the Covenant mission was launched around this time with the aim of setting up an outpost on the world of Origae-6. Its human crew suffered serious losses when it came into contact with Prometheus crewmember and synthetic David, who had killed an entire population of Engineers and culled vicious creatures from an Engineer bioweapon along with human DNA. He would go on to commandeer the Covenant and attempt to use its complement of Earth-born colonists for experimentation.
Even so, humanity continued to exponentially multiply its holdings, and colonies such as Hadley's Hope and Freya's Prospect were established on far-flung planets. The Colonial Marshal Bureau and later the United States Colonial Marine Corps were often present to protect some human installations. Some time before or during the 24th century, the United Systems Military took control of known space and put humanity in a stranglehold. This outfit was eventually dethroned by a resurge in corporate activity led by Weyland-Yutani, and it resumed its own stranglehold on colonization and general human activity.
By the 25th century, some humans had apparently developed empathic and telepathic abilities, though this was only observed in a few isolated cases.
Virtually all Alien and Predator material. Some major examples are: