The Megopteran was a giant insectoid creature from the future, derived from Hymenoptera. It inhabited the same time and place as the Future Predators, and it would seem that the Predators and Megopterans were rivals in their world's ecosystem.
The Megopteran was a large insectoid creature and was part of the Hymenoptera family, sharing some traits with other, modern-day Hymenoptera such as bees and ants. Megopterans varied in size - newborn hatchlings were approximately the size of a rat, and the adults were usually about seven feet tall and eight - ten feet long, and there was one Megopteran specimen which was twice the size of the aforementioned standard adult. Megopteran possessed a bulbous thorax, from which grew out six strong, jointed limbs and a pair of large, moderate-strength wings. Megopteran also had a long arched neck, ending in an insectoid head equipped with compound eyes and four deadly mandibles.
Lacking antennae, Megopterans would instead use their large compound eyes to detect prey. When a Megopteran located a suitable victim, it would swiftly pursue and/or close in on the prey, using its large, mantis-like forelegs to catch the prey and making short work of the victim with its mandibles; Megopterans were very dangerous to humans, and just one was capable of killing a full-grown man in seconds. Megopteran's long legs made it a fast runner, and its wings allowed it to hover and fly up to several metres above ground after prey, although it would seem that Megopterans preferred to hunt at ground level. Megopterans were also quite strong and had a very durable exoskeleton, as an infant was shown to be able to crack a window by slamming into it without sustaining any injury and an adult sustained several bullets from a machine gun without any harm. However, they were not invincible and could be injured or killed by sufficient force, such as being hit by a car going at high speed.
Despite being evolved from hive-based insects, the Megopterans did not seem to live in the same large colonies, although they would still sometimes live together in large numbers and/or work together in small packs when hunting (but it would seem that Megopterans often preferred to hunt alone). Megopterans also didn't show any distinct castes, beyond the three different size variations seen. They appeared to communicate in a series of loud hollow clicking sounds, and like most modern-day insects, Megopterans apparently don't like smoke. (Episode 3.8, Episode 3.10)
According to Abby Maitland, the Megopteran had an ovipositor, evolved from its Hymenopteran ancestors' stingers, which it used to lay eggs inside a host. Megopterans could indeed lay eggs within the corpse of a kill, which would rapidly develop under the killed victim's flesh until, within approximately twelve hours, a Megopteran hatchling would emerge from the corpse. (Episode 3.8)
According to two sources, the Megopteran went through a pupal stage, and the Future Maggot was a larval stage in the Megopteran's life. (Primeval Evolved, Genesis of a Creature) However, this is questionable due to the fact that Megopterans hatchlings were known to be miniature versions of the adults rather than maggots. (Episode 3.8)
Sometime after the Future Predators were apparently created and wiped out humanity, the Megopterans thrived in ruined human cities and competed with the Future Predators. They were, according to Abby Maitland, derived from Hymenoptera such as ants, bees or wasps. (Episode 3.8)
Incursions and encounters
Two Megopterans came through an Anomaly into a Race Circuit in the Present. The ARC team arrived and one of the Megopterans attacked Danny Quinn. It followed him out of the building and cornered him on the race track, only to be promptly splattered and killed by a passing sports car. The remaining Megopteran was effectively marooned in the Present when the ARC locked the Anomaly; and the following night, it killed two ARC guards left at the Anomaly site, and laid eggs inside their corpses.
The next day, the Megopteran's young hatched shortly after Jack Maitland arrived at the race circuit. The parent Megopteran then attacked Jack and trapped him in another sports car. He escaped through the unlocked Anomaly into the Future, the car ripping off one of the Megopteran's limbs in the process. It is unknown what happened to the Megopteran adult afterwards, but it most likely returned through the Anomaly. At the race circuit, while Sarah Page was left to guard the Anomaly, the Megopteran hatchling attacked Sarah until she trapped it in a metal box.
Meanwhile, in the Future, a large Megopteran attacked Jack and Danny in an old bunker, and Danny used an explosive to try and kill it. The smoke from the explosion subsequently forced several other Megopterans out of the bunker and into a street outside, where they came across and fought with several Future Predators. The ARC team used the battle as cover to escape to and through the Anomaly, where Sarah threw the metal box containing the Megopteran hatchling back through the Anomaly, then locked it before any of the Megopterans on the other side could come through.
A Megopteran came through an Anomaly into Christine Johnson's office. You fought with it, but ended up stranded in the Future.
Whilst searching for Helen Cutter in the Future, Danny, Abby and Connor were attacked by three Megopterans in the Future City. They were able to escape the Megopterans by tricking them into going through Christine Johnson's Anomaly to her HQ in the Present, where they attacked and killed a number of soldiers remaining in the facility.
At the HQ, Hilary Becker and Sarah were attacked by one Megopteran, but Becker was able to injure it and lock it in a large room. The other two Megopterans then attacked and chased the two through the HQ, until the creatures cornered them in a mesh wire compartment. The Megopterans then began chewing through the mesh to try and get to Sarah and Becker, until the two electrocuted and killed the creatures by touching the mesh with electrical wires.
Becker and his men fought against Megopterans in the mission to find Connor, Abby and Danny in the future. (Webisode 1)
|This is a small selection of images from the massive gallery page for Megopteran.|
- « "This monster is a highly adapted predator, which has evolved from carnivorous beetles, such as the tiger beetle. It grows to around six foot tall, and uses large compound eyes to detect prey in future jungles. When it has found suitable prey, it will use the large mantis like legs to catch birds or other giant insects, whilst the razor sharp jaws make short work of the meal. This monster is also a very fast runner, and uses its speed to hunt prey over large distances, although it can only use its wings to fly short distances." »
- — Website Description
- The Megopteran was created by Carim Nahaboo, aged 16, in the Create Your Own Creature Competition held by ITV for designing a new Primeval creature, and Carim's Megopteran design won the competition.
- The Megopteran was changed a great amount from its original concept art contest entry, removing a stinger, having larger wings, a smoother surface exoskeleton, legs facing different directions, red eyes, a tail, a longer neck, smaller sleeker body, larger antennae (on a different spot), and the mouthparts had been altered.
- The Megopteran is the only known future animal with a scientific name, although it was never called by this name onscreen.
- It was never stated whether the Megopterans were created by humanity like the Future Predators, or if they evolved naturally. However, the future city's intact state would suggest that the Megopterans' home time was only a few centuries in the future, supporting the former origin. Alternatively, some fans have suggested the Megopteran evolved much later in the timeline and had migrated back to the future city via an Anomaly.
- For arthropods to reach such size, the oxygen levels in the Megopteran's home time would have to be much higher than in the present day. However they have been shown to be able to live in modern times, suggesting that the Megoptorans had evolved some sort of advance respiratory system comparable to mammals or birds.
- In Episode 3.8, it was stated that the Megopteran was a descendant of wasps and ants, although the website and several other sources state that it had evolved from a beetle or possibly even a praying mantis.
- Carim Nahaboo's original design for the Megopteran before it was changed to the canon depiction seen on the show was said in the description to have evolved from carnivorous beetles such as the Tiger Beetle.
- The Future Maggots that Jack and Danny encountered in the bunker were stated to be Megopteran larvae, but the hatchling Megopteran that attacked Sarah in the present was a smaller version of the adult. However, it is possible that Megopteran eggs laid naturally outside of a host hatch into a larval form and those laid inside a host body emerge as hatchling versions of the adults.
- As Abby said in Episode 3.8, Megopterans' bodies contained a large amount of selenium. This was likely due to exposure to a selenium-filled environment (namely the future city), as the Artefact was identically coated in high selenium levels.