The Predator is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterised by its trophy hunting of other dangerous species for sport. First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator.
The Predator design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston.
Predators are physically distinguished from humans by their greater height, arthropod-like mandibles and long, hair-like appendages on their heads that are set into their skulls. Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds and radiation doses which would be fatal to humans. They are much stronger than humans, having been portrayed as being easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human male and shattering solid concrete with their bare hands. They are also skilled climbers, and will readily move through trees or across rooftops in pursuit of prey.
Their blood is luminescent phosphor green in color. Their vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature. A Predator's hunting helmet increases its ability to see in a variety of spectrums, ranging from the low infrared to the high ultraviolet, and also filters the ambient heat from the area, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail. While they are capable of breathing Earth's atmosphere, the creature in Predator 2 is seen using a breathing mask after losing his helmet. Their dietary habits are also mentioned in Predator 2, where it is revealed that the creature regularly visits a slaughterhouse every two days to feed on the stored meat there.
Predator technology is distinctive in many respects. It is shown in Predator 2 that at least one Predator weapon uses a metal that does not correspond to any element on the periodic table. In addition, several of these tools make use of thermal imaging to track prey. The Predator's mask also houses a viewing system that fine tunes the creature's infrared vision by filtering out ambient heat, and also allows it to view in different spectra completely. The Predator's technology is advanced enough that the mask enables it to see in specific levels of X-ray and identify diseases and cancers, as well as picking up on pulse and heartbeat signals to track targets. The Predators also make use of a light-bending cloaking device that makes them almost completely invisible.