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Powers: Atavistic
First Seen: N/A

Atavistic mutations are primarily physical mutations, comprising of the individual possessing such "animalistic" traits as wings, pronounced canine teeth, vertical "catlike" irises, claws, increased body hair, or a tail.

What is an atavistic mutation?

The term 'atavistic' refers to 'throwback' mutations, where the individuals display traits associated with animals. For some shapeshifters, it refers to such traits remaining even in their 'human' state, frequently impacting on their dietary needs and senses. Beneficial versions of this mutation are rarely seen alone; they are usually paired with feral or metamorphic mutations, or enhanced physical or sensory traits.

Atavistic mutations often happen without the presence of the x-gene, including otherwise genetically-normal human babies being born with caudal appendages (tails), extra body hair or an incomplete digestive system.

The mutation is predominantly physical - atavistic mutants rarely show the "pack mentality" or other psychological or mental traits seen in ferals. In very rare circumstances, such as Catseye who was raised from infancy by cats, feral behaviour can be seen as a result of environment, rather than an actual mutation.

The differences between atavistic mutations, ferals and metamorphs

Ferals are identified by certain traits: enhanced senses, a healing factor and altered psychology which exhibits in a "pack" mentality. There are those who exhibit some atavistic traits, such as Kyle's pointed ears and claws, but it is not the predominant aspect of their mutation. There are those who are atavistic without displaying feral traits - for example, Henry McCoy displays atavistic physical traits, but has neither the enhanced senses or healing factor, nor the psychological aspects associated with a feral.

It is also possible for some metamorphs to not possess atavistic traits in their 'human' form, such as Rahne Sinclair or Nicholas Gleason.

Atavistic mutants in X-Project

"Pure" Atavistic mutants:

Phase 2

  • Kurt Sefton (fur, tail, pointed ears, fangs, unusual hand and feet structure)

Feral mutants with atavistic aspects:

Phase 2

  • Doreen Green (tail, slightly prominent bucked teeth and claws)
  • Logan (retractable bone claws)

Metamorphs with atavistic aspects:

Phase 2

Other mutants with atavistic traits:

Phase 2

  • Namor (ankle wings, pointed ears, gills, nonhuman physiology)

Phase 1

  • Kurt Wagner (fur, tail, pointed ears, fangs, unusual hand and feet structure)
  • Doreen Green (tail, slightly prominent bucked teeth and claws)
  • Catseye (retains tail and claws in human form)