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Giant prawns are a spacefaring race of sentient beings, with highly advanced technology and spaceship engineering who calling themselves the Poleepkwa. Their reasons for coming and/or colonizing on Earth are unknown
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so far. The non-humans are bipedal, several feet taller than humans, and have dark thick shell-like skin as well as a mass of facial tendrils. It is hypothesized that these tendrils are somehow involved in the mastication process, but it has not been proven. These aliens are also very strong. At one point in the movie, a prawn takes hold of an MNU soldier's arms, and places his foot on his chest. He kicks outward, resulting in the soldier's arms being ripped off, as well as sending him flying several yards back. Also a prawn lifts and flips an overweight MNU guard upside down. He then throws the guard several feet through the air causing him to smash into the side of a shack. The name "Prawn" is a derogatory term used for the non-humans. It comes from the resemblance their faces bear to that of a prawn's, and is meant to imply that they are bottom feeders, just scavenging about and basically, living off of the waste of everybody else. In District 9, the prawns are greatly oppressed by the MNU Security Force. They have very little rights in District 9, all of which are closely monitored, regulated, and enforced by MNU.

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