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In Aliens how can a hive possibly survive? As far as I know, the xenomorphs' life cycle requires a host, but it apparently seems that in the movies/games/comics aliens have the single goal of wiping out the native species. Once they have successfully done this, how can they possibly re-produce without a host, for example, on Xenomorph prime?

I do understand that the engineers created them as a biological weapon (as far as we know) so is it possible that they were never designed to survive, and were intended to just wipe out the native species and then die off?

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    They seem to only need the host for reproduction, not survival – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 22 '13 at 16:06
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    That's an interesting hypothesis. It'd allow the Engineers to unleash a few Xenomorph queens on a planet and wait a few years to colonize the planet after all the Xenomorphs have died. Since the Engineers don't appear to have any special defenses against the Xenomorphs, this built-in killswitch would be very useful. – Lèse majesté Oct 17 '13 at 16:51
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In Alien, we saw a ship that contained no apparent xenomorphs aside from the facehugger cocoons. I believe this is exactly what happens when the Xenomorph population runs out of hosts.

As adults die off (assuming they can starve or die of age, neither of which I believe are confirmed), the colony will simply go dormant, relying upon suitable hosts finding the facehugger cocoons so that the cycle can begin again.

The pattern of parasites remaining dormant for long periods of time until a proper host is found is fairly common even in our ecology.

  • This is a weird thing that keeps being used in horror movies, zombies for example? there food source is also there only way of reproduction, they seem inherently doomed. – user2076429 Feb 22 '13 at 16:09
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    This is true of many MANY parasites. – Ashterothi Feb 22 '13 at 16:13
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    That actually applies to just about EVERY species: the size of the population is always restricted by the availability of food. The two general strategies are 1) reproduce at will, but have everything starve off and die once food becomes unavailable, or 2) stop reproducing once food becomes unavailable. – Beofett Feb 22 '13 at 16:15
  • Perhaps on certain Xenomorph colony's they could start using native species as cattle? or allowing a number of them to live to carry on reproducing? – user2076429 Feb 22 '13 at 16:22
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I don't think the Aliens are bright enough, intellectually, to think beyond their immediate food needs and to shift to raising hosts as cattle. While vicious, they seem to only display the most rudimentary ability to learn.

Some animals do evolve this behaviour as instinct (e.g. leafcutter ants and fungus). The Alien can't evolve this behaviour, since they were engineered for a purpose.

That being said, I've often considered their metabolism to be prodigiously efficient… I'd go so far as to call the entire species a perpetual motion machine.

  • What do you mean, "They cut the power"? How could they cut the power, man? They're animals! – Mikey Mouse Jul 14 '15 at 10:23
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acually in the book aliens omnibus volume 1 (at the end) and 2 also known as aliens genocide you can clearly see they have their own planet and have other life forms to keep them in check.

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    Then again, Aliens comics featured Earth infestation by Xenomorphs... It may or may not be considered canon. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 20 '14 at 7:12
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One of the most recent Novels Aliens: Out of the Shadows (As little as it may be canon) does reflect on that the species can survive possibly for thousands of years in hibernation untill activity arounds them or the have awakens them. The fact that in Prometheus it's determined that this race is solely bred for possible extermination on a planet, pretty much will have little role of r a hive once it has wiped out everything and only becomes a dormant house untill the next victim falls prey in their vicinity. The hive can withstand most harsh environments just like its inhabitants making it only a halfway house for survival of this specie while keeping them within their own sustainable atmosphere and environment.

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