- « "These Permian predators resembled a scaled-down wolf – their legs were longer and their build more slender than many reptiles. Its pointed canine teeth were ideal for chomping on flesh and it could outrun most other vertebrates. They are part of a small group of animals thought to be the missing link between reptiles and mammals; it’s assumed they had both scales and hair." »
- — Primeval: New World official description
Lycaenops was a synapsid creature which shared several characteristics with modern day mammals, particularly dogs. It had a slender-built body which was about the size of a human and a long and slender skull equipped with canine-like teeth for ripping out its prey's throat. Covering its grey body was a thin coat of light brown fur with dark brown leopard-like spots, which were patterned differently between individuals. Male Lycaenops were noted to be larger than females by at least a foot. Lycaenops had a very strong metabolism, as one Lycaenops was able to recover quicker than expected from an electric shock that would have brought down a rhino.
Lycaenops seemed to be stalkers, avoiding prey animals that were together in large numbers and preferring to go after loners. They also usually stalked prey from up in the trees (or, in a manmade structure environment, from up among the ceiling piping), believed to be because they lived in a jungle habitat. Lycaenops killed their prey, by jumping upon it to pin it down before delivering the killing bites to the throat. Lycaenops apparently had close mating partnerships and a significant level of emotional sentience, as male Lycaenops would follow females wherever they went, by their scent, and were seen to mourn the death of their mate when the mate was killed.
Incursions and encounters
A female Lycaenops came through an Anomaly to a University campus in present day Vancouver, then became marooned in the present when the Anomaly closed. The Lycaenops stayed hidden in the bushes and trees in the campus grounds from the crowds of students, and attacked and chased Kate when she was alone. However, Kate was able to escape the Lycaenops when she locked herself in a bike locker.
When the Special Projects Group arrived, the Lycaenops tried to avoid them, and fled into the university library from them. The team followed it there, and Evan Cross and Dylan Weir followed the Lycaenops through the maze of the library's bookshelves. However, the creature was able to evade the two until they gave up. The Lycaenops followed Evan and Dylan to a staircase, where it attacked the team, but was knocked out when Mac Rendell electrocuted it with a taser. The unconscious Lycaenops was subsequently taken by the team back to Cross Photonics in their van, and was left in the back of the van.
When the Anomaly briefly reopened, another, male Lycaenops (which was apparently the mate of the female) came through before the Anomaly closed again, and followed the smell of the female's urine on Mac's shirt back to Cross Photonics. There, the female Lycaenops recovered, and was unintentionally freed from the van by Bill Pierson when he investigated. The Lycaenops then killed Bill, and then Samantha Sedaris after a lengthy chase when the latter came and tried to stun the creature with a taser.
Shortly after, the male Lycaenops managed to enter the building through a ventilation shaft in the roof, and followed Mac through Cross Photonics due to the female Lycaenops' smell on him. When Mac removed his clothes and took a shower to get the female's smell off of him, the Lycaenops first investigating the female creature's smell on Mac's removed clothes. The Lycaenops then attacked Mac, but fled when Mac defended himself against the creature with a fire extinguisher. Mac subsequently chased the Lycaenops through the building, but the creature managed to evade his shots at it.
Meanwhile, the female Lycaenops travelled through Cross Photonics to the Tank, where it stalked and attacked Toby Nance. Just as the Lycaenops pounced at Toby, Dylan arrived and shot and killed the creature. The male Lycaenops then arrived and mourned its mate's death, before Mac shot and killed it in revenge for Samantha's death. The two Lycaenops' bodies were subsequently stored and frozen in the Tank's freezer room.
On the next Anomaly incursion, Mac was upset with the next encountered creatures as he believed that all creatures were responsible for his girlfriend death. Elsewhere Angelika Finch and Lieutenant Leeds had a conversation about how Sam and Bill had been "butchered".
The Lycaenops from the university campus incursion were seen in Angelika Finch's flashbacks to the Lycaenops incident which resulted in Bill Pierson's and Samantha Sedaris' deaths.
Lycaenops (name meaning "wolf face") was a genus of carnivorous therapsid, which lived from 271 to 251 million years ago in what is now South Africa. Lycaenops grew to be approximately one metre long. It possessed mammalian leg movements, which would have allowed it to outrun and chase down its prey, and it possessed dog-like fangs in both its upper and lower jaws, which would have been ideal for stabbing and teraing at prey's flesh. It is thought that Lycaenops likely hunted small land vertebrates such as dicynodonts and reptiles.
- The Lycaenops in Primeval: New World is similar to the Lurker from the 2008 video game Turok, a fast and agile Gorgonopsid. Just like the Lurker, they could climb trees and charge their prey, which may indicate that Turok's Lurkers influenced the creation of New World's Lycaenops.
- The Lycaenops depicted in Primeval: New World were considerably larger than any fossil specimen known.
- In New World, Lycaenops was said to be a jungle animal; in real life this is unlikely, as the area where they lived was far from any large water source that would be able to sustain a rainforest, and it's more likely that Lycaenops' habitat was highly-seasonal plains or scrubland.
- The Lycaenops, while it was likely warm-blooded like modern mammals, probably didn't have as high of a metabolism due to its more archaic biology.