"Xenomorph" comes from two greek words - "xenos", denoting strange or foreign-ness, and "morphe", meaning shape. The reason these words were applied to the Aliens in the movies of the same names are because the colonial marines didn't know what they looked like (or rather, of their wide range of appearances.)

GORMAN

What's the question?

HUDSON

Is this going to be a stand-up
fight, Sir, or another bug-hunt?

GORMAN

All we know is that there's
still no contact with the colony
and that a xenomorph may be
involved.

WIERZBOWSKI

A what?

HICKS
(to Wierzbowski;
low)

It's a bug-hunt.

Xenomorphs also made an appearance in Sluggy Freelance. While Torg and Riff were in an alternate universe resembling Star Trek they encountered aliens similar to the aliens in Alien(the main difference being that the "facehuggers" don't hug the face (prompting the line "GET ME A PROCTOLOGIST")) when an alien named Aylee followed Torg and Riff back to their own dimension, she lived up to her species' name. She transformed through several forms before adapting to her new environment in a form called the Pretty Flower or Snakepuppy. After encountering a nanovirus she transformed into an EMP generator which looks like a lima been with a tail and eats potatos, but can transform into a dragon when she emits a pulse.

The Xeonomorph is the technical term for the race of aliens which are the focus of the Alien movies.

Types of Xenomorph

Facehugger: Released from alien eggs, these are short-lived creatures that have only one purpose: to find a host (usually human) and attach themselves to its face, where it injects an alien embryo down the throat of its victim. They are about a foot wide, with grasping finger like appendages surrounding its mouth/injector, and a tail. It's strong and fast, but shortlived. It has extremely acidic blood.

Chestburster: immature form of the main xenomorph type, the xenomorph bursts from the chest of its host, killing them. About three foot long, and snake-like at birth, the chestburster quickly grows into a mature xenomorph, shedding its skin.

Mature Xenomorphs: the main type of alien, they are about 6-7 foot tall (not including a long, prehensile tail), roughly humanoid, black, with an elongated head with double jaw (ie, a second set of jaws inside the first set capable of extending from the first set), insectile body, arms and legs with razor sharp claws, which allow them to climb walls and ceilings with ease. They are semi aquatic and capable of surviving a vacuum. Like all Xenomorphs they have highly acidic blood. They perform a function similar to worker/soldier ants in an ant colony. They are also capable of secreting a resin-like substance with which they build hives.

Queen: The queen is similar to the mature xenomorph, except it is larger, has a much more elongated head, and is often connected to an egg-sac. It performs a similar function to the queen in an ant colony, controlling the workers, and creating eggs.

Various other types of xenomorph ( the Newborn, aliens from different hosts etc. ) have also been invented, but these are the main, and coolest types of alien.

Lifecycle: Queen lays egg Facehugger hatches from egg and attaches to host, implanting alien embryo inside it. Embryo modifies host to accomodate it and absorbs some of its DNA. Embryo matures into chestburster, and emerges from host's chest Chestburster matures into fully grown xenomorph

Queens are produced when another queen lays a special queen egg, and have a similar lifecycle to a normal xenomorph.

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