Monster Science Figures Out What That Creepy ‘Alien’ Facehugger Is

As adults, xenomorphs exhibit the pharyngeal jaws of moray eels, exoskeletal armor and a spiked tail that brings to mind a scorpion’s stinger or a stegosaurus’ thagomizer.

That’s the “perfect” xenomorph, but what about the facehugger also in “Alien”? In the movies, this crab-like entity emerges from a leathery egg, attaches itself to a human’s face and deposits an embryo inside the host, one that develops into a chest-bursting xenomorph larva.

But if the chestburster is the larva, then what’s the facehugger? Many real-life species boast a prelarval form, but the “Alien” films indicate that the implanted embryo absorbs genes from the host. Might this mean the facehugger is little more than a mobile sex organ?


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