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List of Earth creatures in the Half-Life series

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"Crab" redirects here. You may be looking for Headcrab or Crab Synth.

"Nothing sadder than an empty crab pot."
The Fisherman[src]

This article lists the Earth creatures appearing in the Half-Life series.

Half-Life era[edit]


Birds can be heard outside of Black Mesa. Sound file names suggest they consist of hawks and quails.


Main article: Penguin

The Capture The Flag mode of Opposing Force features Penguins with grenades strapped to their back. They act like Snarks.


Insects can be heard in the exterior maps and some inside maps. Sound file names suggest they consist of flies, bees, and crickets.


The Cockroach (monster_cockroach) is seen crawling in many places across the Black Mesa Research Facility. Its AI was made by Steve Bond.[1] Its health is very low, since walking on it will kill it instantly.


A fly model was originally to appear in Half-Life, but it was ultimately cut, being just heard in the outdoor areas. The texture can be found in the Half-Life: Source files.


Moths are occasionally seen gathering together and flying around light sources.



Rats (monster_rat) can be seen walking slowly and standing on their hind legs in the Black Mesa Hazard Course. There, they do not react to the player's actions, and can only be killed using the Submachine Gun's grenades.

They also appear in Half-Life concept art and early test maps.

Half-Life 2 era[edit]



Frogs can be heard but not seen in the Canals.


With the humans, birds are the only Earth creatures seen during the Combine occupation. No explanation of this particular survival is given in-game. As most NPCs, birds can be killed. Civil Protection officers and Combine Snipers can be seen shooting them from time to time, and Xen creatures attack them occasionally as well.

There are three known types of birds in Half-Life 2 and its episodes: the pigeon, the crow and the seagull, although many other types of birds (such as woodpeckers or miscellaneous birds of prey) can be heard in the Outlands. Other unidentified birds (simply named "coast bird" in the sound files) can also be heard along the Coast.


Crows (npc_crow), seemingly modeled after the carrion crow, are found in City 17, Ravenholm, and the Outlands. They are sometimes seen feasting on corpses.

During the teleportation mishap in the Half-Life 2 chapter "A Red Letter Day", Gordon is first sent into the Wasteland, which is filled with crows, one of which gets caught in midair by Lamarr. Immediately afterward, when Gordon temporarily reappears in Kleiner's Lab, it appears that a crow came back with him, as one can be seen at his feet.

In the Half-Life 2 chapter Route Kanal, the player can see a crow quickly take off, only to be eaten by a Barnacle. In the chapter Anticitizen One, an unplugged television on a pile of rubble blocking the doorway leading outside shows an image of the G-Man standing in a wooden boat with a crow on his shoulder (The crow on his shoulder happens to have an entity name being "Crowley"). A similar surreal scene can be seen in the WC map pack map ickypop, involving the G-Man being held in mid-air by a flying crow.[2]

At White Forest, false alarms are often triggered in the secondary silo by nesting crows.


Although no dove is seen in-game, one is featured on one of the Combine propaganda posters scattered around City 17, above Combine logos, as an ironic symbol of peace. What appears to be a dove is also featured on a beheaded statue seen in Ravenholm's churchyard.


Pigeons (npc_pigeon) are found in the City 17 area and the Canals.


Seagulls (npc_seagull) are found along the Coast and over City 17.

The Fisherman from Lost Coast is very defensive of what remains of Earth's original species. His comments on these species gives the player more knowledge on the effects of Xen lifeforms and the Combine on Earth's natural environment. If the player shoots a seagull, the Fisherman will show he disagrees, saying, in that order and at each seagull killed, "Hey, now! We've lost enough species already!", "What'd that gull ever do to you?", "Don't shoot the gulls! They keep down the leech population!" and finally "Well, suit yourself. I can't stop you.", after which no more seagulls can be seen.

In the Half-Life 2 chapter Highway 17, a seagull can perch on and befoul the Scout Car if Gordon leaves the vehicle unattended for a period of time. The seagull will fly away when the player approaches.

It was animated by Derek Jenson.[3]



Barnacles (or Cirripedia, not to be mistaken with the Xen Barnacles) can be found on the rocks and the seafloor at the very start of Half-Life 2: Lost Coast.


In Half-Life: Alyx, cockroaches are seen and heard scurrying by Alyx's feet when she walks near their nesting spots.


In Lost Coast, if the player grabs a crab pot with the Gravity Gun, the Fisherman says that most of the crabs have been eaten by Leeches.


Worms can be seen on the chest of the rotting Citizen corpse model.


Insects can be heard but not seen in the Canals, in the Outlands, and along the Coast. Flies can also often be heard near corpses.



The "What Cat"? achievement icon.

Although not a single cat is seen in Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, one is mentioned at the start of Half-Life 2: Dr. Kleiner apparently tested his resurrected teleport on a cat, aided by Barney, and the experiment went bad enough to give Barney nightmares about it. When Barney learns the teleport is fixed, he replies "You mean it's working? For real this time? Because... I still have nightmares about that cat." Alyx is puzzled and asks several times "What cat?" but does not receive an answer. Before being teleported, Alyx asks again "About that cat..." but again is not answered. Later in the game, Barney mistakes a distant Strider roar for a cat meow, saying "Did you hear a cat just now? That damn thing haunts me."

An Orange Box Achievement, "What cat?", requires the player to break a mini teleport in Kleiner's Lab.

In the Half-Life 2 leak sound files, an additional line from Barney elaborates further on the fate of the feline, stating "I had to turn the cat right side out again, Gordon, to make sure it was a cat.".

In Half-Life: Alyx, numerous cats be found roaming City 17 during the first chapter of the game, indicating they were relatively common sights. Some can be seen walking through the streets and along rooftops, while others are found sleeping in spots such on the balcony next to Alyx's lookout post. Alyx also briefly glimpses into the apartment of a woman who owns at least 5 cats and a Garfield-like wall clock. Elsewhere, a "Missing Cat" notice with a Polaroid of a cat named Beatrice owned by a woman called Sarah can be found on the corkboard in the laundry room of Alyx's building.


In Half-Life: Alyx, dogs can often be heard barking in the distance but are never seen. In one of the buildings surrounding the Vault, a rocket toy with the face of a dog on it is found sitting on a shelf. This rocket design was inspired by a porcelain jug honoring the Soviet space program dogs Belka and Strelka.[4] Written on the toy in marker are the words "Paul P. '86", a memorial to former Valve artist Paul Pepera who was born in 1986 and died in 2017.[5]


A set of Combine propaganda posters vilifying human science features a mouse with a human ear grafted to its body, actually the real-life Vacanti mouse.


In the cancelled Ravenholm, zombie monkeys were to appear. They were to be the result of Father Grigori injecting them with Headcrab blood.


A bronze horse statue can be seen on a column at the end of the chapter "Follow Freeman!", in the map d3_c17_13. It was originally featured in WC map pack maps such as e3_terminal, c17_assault2, as two horses, each on a column, or in the museum in Palace. It can also be found alone on a column in d4_streetwar_01, the first street map following Palace. The prefab map prefab_government also contains two horse statues.

During the City 17 uprising, a Citizen says he could "eat a horse, hooves and all".

In The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, concept art for an unused creature shows a Combine Ordinal riding a horse that appears to have received modifications by the Combine.


Rats can be heard in deserted or infested areas, such as Ravenholm and the City 17 Underground, but are not seen.

An incomplete rat model can be found in the Half-Life 2 leak files.[6] A video from Valve's 3D artist Derek Jenson demonstrates a fleeing flock of rats, with one of them getting caught and eaten by a Barnacle; the same (and still incomplete) model is used, with animations not present in the leak.[3]

In Half-Life: Alyx, several rats can be seen throughout City 17 and the Quarantine Zone, both dead and alive. Some rats have been absorbed into the Xen Memory Worms used by Combine interfaces.


Along the Coast in the Half-Life 2 leak only, whale sounds can be heard underwater. As seen in the sound files, however, they actually are Ichthyosaur sounds, named "ping1" and "ping2".[6]

The seafloor was originally to be full of beached ships and whale bones,[7] recalling the real world Aral Sea.



Half-Life: Alyx features a billboard for "Тиранозавр рекс - The ultimate predator" (Russian for "Tyrannosaurus rex"), an exhibit on the Tyrannosaurus rex held at the Museum of Natural History (MNH) at the Barracks from September 25, 1999 to March 12, 2000, in the then newly renovated Prehistoric Hall. Admission was free under 12.

The poster reuses an existing photo of the skull of the T. rex of the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, USA.[8]

Central Zoo[edit]

Main article: Central Zoo

When the Central Zoo was still in activity, it was home of a large variety of animals including tigers, gorillas, giraffes, penguins, Komodo dragons, crabs, piranhas, jellyfish, tarantulas, etc.

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]