In the end of Prometheus,

After the Engineer's disabled spacecraft crashes onto the ground, Shaw goes to the lifeboat but she is soon rejoined by the Engineer.


The air inside of the alien structure and the Engineer's spacecraft is different from the planet's atmosphere, Humans could breath freely in those places while they need suits outside. This indicates that the Engineers have the same atmospheric requirement as humans regarding carbon dioxide.

So :

To get inside the lifeboat, the Engineer had to cross a significant distance outside, then force open the lifeboat's airlock. It seem hard to believe he just held his breath the whole time.

How did he reach this location?

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    One possibility I see is that, though the Engineers may prefer the atmosphere inside the ship, they may not be as susceptible to danger from the outside environment as humans are. i.e. Maybe they can survive at more extreme levels than humans can. – NominSim Oct 18 '12 at 16:22

When Shaw was outside of the ship, her suit mentioned that she had only 2 minutes left of oxygen (and this was right when she was almost crushed, so right next to the ship the engineer was in). In the beginning of the movie, I believe it was also stated that if you go 2 minutes without a helmet on, you would succumb to CO2 poisoning.

There were the quotes (from Ford):

00:23:45,995 : CO2 is over 3 percent.

00:23:48,122 : Two minutes without a suit, you're dead.

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that he was able to hold his breath for 2 minutes. Besides, the Engineers were genetically superior to humans. They had larger bodies, and most likely a larger lung capacity. Their larger bodies also meant they could run faster.

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    Are you sure it's CO2? see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/24878/… – DavRob60 Oct 18 '12 at 16:27
  • I'm pretty sure... avp.wikia.com/wiki/LV-223. Maybe it was a writer's mistake. Edit: Oh, I didn't see that you have the same link in your question. It was probably a writer's mistake. – John Oct 18 '12 at 16:30
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    I've answered it in your other question. They said CO2. – John Oct 18 '12 at 16:43
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    +1 but not to be a pain, but I don't think larger bodies = larger lung capacity is a valid statement as the larger mass of muscle/tissue would require more oxygen for regular upkeep. Their humanoid structure suggests same (similar) lung capacity/body mass ratio – im so confused Oct 18 '12 at 17:27
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    Technically, that still means a larger lung capacity, but you're right, it doesn't necessarily mean they could breath longer. Their genetic superiority might still mean they had more efficient oxygenation though. – John Oct 18 '12 at 17:33

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