I guess this is a plot hole (amongst several others) in Alien 3, as it has NEVER been clarified as to how the Ox Xenomorph is different from other xenomorphs we have seen thus far, apart from the fact that it walks on four legs and with high speed, which aren't really radically different.

The ox (or dog, depending on what version of the movie you watch) was face-hugged by a queen face-hugger, so wouldn't that mean that the xenomorph that burst out of it is a queen?

Remember, both Ripley and the Ox were impregnated by the SAME facehugger. Yet, the Ox Alien is simply quadrupedal and fast, and not enormous and dominant as the queen we see in Aliens. And I assume the version we see in the movie is the alien as its most mature. Even at birth, we see that it's way bigger than a regular chest-burster, implying that it's a queen. Yet we never see it go that direction for some reason.

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    I like this question but why is it a plot-hole?
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:58
  • It's a plot-hole because it's inconsistent with the fact that queen face-huggers give rise to queen xenomorphs. If Ripley had a queen inside her, then why didn't the ox? They were both face-hugged by the SAME face-hugger. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 18:00
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    Why would it mean that? I'm struggling to see where you base your initial premise (that it should be a queen) on... (Actually, adding your comment into the question might help with that a little. Though, it's still not clear why a facehugger shouldn't be able to produce two different kinds of aliens. Which book on xenomorph biology told you that?)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 18:09
  • Sure...but if it was a queen, how would that make a difference? Just curious. Are you looking for something official?
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 18:11
  • It's a question similar to "What do xenomorphs eat?". There's no official answer from the crew who made the movies, but people still give their explanation of it, which clarifies the movie significantly. I'm expecting answers like that. People's own explanations. Maybe they have caught a detail or two that I haven't yet. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


I've thought about this A LOT, after rewatching the movie. The important factors that determines what a Xenomorph can be are the characteristics of the host itself. Yes, that includes gender.

That being said, the Ox alien couldn't have been a queen, since the ox itself was presumably male. So why is the queen in Aliens so much larger than the ox alien? Because in various interviews, it is said that the traits of the xenomorphs resemble those of actual insects in real life (that's what influenced the "acid for blood", the hive, the queen, the cocoon, etc.) The biological fact that females are larger, stronger, and more dominant for various different insects and animals around the world seem to correspond with the Alien universe as well.

There were several female colonists in Aliens that got cocooned up and gave birth to female xenomorphs. Why weren't any of those queens? Because their female hosts weren't facehugged by the queen facehugger.

In short,

  • queen facehugger + female host = queen
  • queen facehugger + male host ≠ queen
  • regular facehugger + female host = female xenomorph (not queen)

This restrictive mating condition would also explain why there aren't that many queens.

  • please let me know if answering your own question is allowed. I will delete this immediately if not. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:20
  • It's totally allowed. In fact, if you already had the answer ready, you could as well have answered it right at the moment of asking by ticking the "answer your own question" checkbox. So yes, as long as it suffices the normal requirements, i.e. actually trying to answer the question asked, there's no problem with it. (This does of course not protect you from any other criticism that might be going on with the answer, but that's mostly independent of the fact of being a self-answer.)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:25

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