The scenario of the first Alien describes the process like this:

  1. The man comes close to the egg.
  2. The egg opens and a facehugger attacks the man.
  3. After some time, the man wakes up as if nothing happened.
  4. After some time, the man feels pain and dies, and the chestburster breaks his chest and comes to life.

What would happen, if between steps 3 and 4 the man gets attacked by another facehugger? Can a second specie arise that way?

1 Answer 1


Most likely the facehuggers can sense which victims have already been parasitized. I can't find anything via Google to support it, but in several books I've read on parasitoid wasps, they seem capable of sensing which caterpillars have already been attacked and prefer those who haven't (ensures a larger meal for their own offspring).

Facehuggers aren't trying to come up with a clever scenario for a movie watcher's entertainment, after all. They're (pseudo)organisms attempting to reproduce. If they impregnate an already impregnated victim, there's no way they will develop to maturity before the first one does, which probably means they just die.

Incidentally, the gigers themselves will most likely take care not to injure such a victim (indicating that they can sense that, at least). Though, they may drag them away to be cocooned in the resins. I would hazard the guess that it cuts down on heroes surgically rescuing them that way.

  • 1
    Purely for your interest the Aliens novelisation described how human hosts are forced into place when they are cocooned and several of them have their limbs broken and twisted the wrong way. Therefore whilst they warrior aliens try to ensure they hosts are not killed they have little regard (or possibly genuine malice) when it comes to them being hurt.
    – Stefan
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 14:25
  • 2
    I would chalk that up to ignorance of their hosts. Anything that kills the host prior to maturation of the parasite is almost certainly bad from their point of view. On the other hand, the malice theory does fit with what we know of their personalities really well too...
    – John O
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 15:38
  • 1
    "Anything that kills the host prior to maturation of the parasite is almost certainly bad from their point of view." Agreed. Breaking limbs probably does not register on their scale of life threatening. Also ISTR Ripley noticing that the breakages were mainly to make people fit in gaps so I guess overall that is better for the aliens as the hosts consume less space which is a finite resource.
    – Stefan
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 16:20
  • 1
    In "Aliens 3", the adult killed several people, but spared one, apparently because it could sense the presence of the parasite. Also, I'd hazard a guess that "surgical rescue" is not an option once things have progressed far enough for the facehugger to crawl away and die.
    – Beta
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 7:20
  • 1
    @JohnO In Aliens Resurection the queen is removed from Rippley's chest surgically. She shows the scar at some point.
    – frozenkoi
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 23:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.