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This question already has an answer here:

I repeated the avengers movie yesterday in HD and saw something weird - were the Chitauri 'ships' living creatures? They kinda looked like they had flesh underneath all that metal stuff or did I just see my own stuff?

This is what I'm talking about

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marked as duplicate by user1027 Feb 11 '15 at 19:43

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According to the Marvel Movies Wikia, they are actually called Leviathans and they're described as extraterrestrial animal-slaves. (which might be a good name for a punk band)

Leviathans are extraterrestrial animal-slaves and warships for the Chitauri. Not much about them is known, only that they are cybernetically-enhanced beasts which aid the Chitauri during their attempted invasion of Earth. They exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and first appeared in The Avengers.

They are a completely original creation for the movie, so they won't appear in any other canon:

The Leviathans are completely original creations by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon and did not appear with the Chitauri in Mark Millar's The Ultimates.

According to the Marvel Wikia page, they were an original creation by Phil Saunders, here a some of his early sketches:

And this is completely off-topic, but you should spend a few minutes looking through this guys site, it's pretty impressive.

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  • Sure would be nice if Wikia cited a source for that info. – phantom42 Feb 11 '15 at 19:27
  • @phantom42 I agree! But it's the best I could find... – Daft Feb 11 '15 at 19:28
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    I assumed it was obvious that they were alive: they have teeth; the Chituari fly on the outside, not the inside; and Hulk and Thor drive a metal plate into one's brain to kill it. – KutuluMike Feb 11 '15 at 19:34
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    @MichaelEdenfield It wasn't so obvious. The teeth were also metallic which would make someone assume the whole thing was a giant 'robot' kinda thing. – Parto Feb 12 '15 at 6:47

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