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Why The Predator Keeps Its Victim’s Skulls In Prey

A mysterious alien species known as the Predator returns in Prey, along with their habit of collecting victims and their skulls. Naru (Amber Midthunder) must find a way to survive the advanced fighter while figuring out what it is and how to kill it. The task seems even more daunting when Naru witnesses the Predator single-handedly defeating an adult bear and bathing in his blood. Since their first on-screen appearance in 1987 Predator, the green-blooded Predators murdered their victims, sometimes theatrically to remove skull-and-spine, without leaving much indication as to why. The Predators choose an inhabited world and chase their way up the food chain until they meet a formidable match or kill their bellies.


Throughout the movie, the Predator skins a snake with his hands, kills a wolf and removes his head with the spine still attached, and has the bloody altercation with a bear. When first meeting people in Prey, the Predator loses all interest in the former enemies and begins to follow Naru and her brother Taabe’s (Dakota Beavers) hunting party. The Predator identifies Earth’s apex predators by the weapons they carry and uses every weapon in their arsenal to chase and slaughter an entire group of fighters; behead Wasape (Stormee Kipp), who dared to challenge the Predator with a spear. The only other victim they want to behead is Big Beard (Mike Paterson), who had managed to lure the Predator into a confrontation with his own group of hunters.

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Related: Why Did the Predator Come to Earth? Prey?

The Predators have always been mysterious, but they do have a code of honor when it comes to hunting. They take the skulls of victims they consider particularly worthy or brave adversaries in battle. The wolf was a formidable fighter and managed to injure the Predator, so the hunter claimed the wolf’s skull as a trophy. Predators live as a species for hunting, so the quest for trophies is a big part of their reason for traveling to distant planets and slaughtering everything they can. Wasape held out and challenged the Predator, when nearly all the other humans the Predator encountered first fired at them from a distance. Big Beard was the leader of the group of trappers and hunters who preyed on the Predator and survived the Predator’s bomb. Both people qualified to have their skulls collected, if given the chance, which explains why the Predator made a point of beheading them.

Predator hunting rules explained

The Predator’s code of honor goes beyond taking the skulls of the worthy. Only the toughest opponents are chosen for their prey, after seeing the bodies of green berets in the original Predator. Non-combatants like the woman Anna are left alone, while the Predator returned to Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) several times. The Predator in the original movie also removes all of his gear in the final battle with Dutch to give them a fairer fight, and a more honorable kill for the Predator if they succeeded. When the Predator is defeated by the Dutch, who refuses to finish the alien fighter, they set up a timed explosive device, allowing the Dutch to escape and give themselves a more honorable death.

In Predator 2, the list of ailments grows as they make sure they don’t prey on sick or pregnant people while targeting their sites on two warring gangs in Los Angeles. Turning the town into a hunting ground, the Predators catch the attention of Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) and his partner Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton), who both find themselves in a one-on-one battle with a Predator. The latter eventually loses his showdown and Harrigan finds Lambert’s skull in the Predator trophy room before defeating the alien fighter in close combat. The remaining Predators appear after the fight, according to their custom when one of them is defeated by an equal opponent, their leader gives Harrigan an antique pistol believed to be a trophy from another hunt. This is quite possible since the gun that was donated to Harrigan in Predator 2 is the same gun Naru received from Raphael (Bennett Taylor), which she used to kill the Predator that hunted her people Prey.



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