Coeurl is a fictional alien race of predators created by the late science fiction novelist A. E. van Vogt (1912-2000) and featured in his first published short story "Black Destroyer" (1939), later incorporated in the novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950). Its resemblance is comparable to a large cat, except that its forelegs are twice as long as its hind legs, and it possesses tentacles (most likely twoTemplate:Fact) attached to its shoulders. These tentacles terminate in suction cups. Its skin coloration is not mentioned, but it may be inferredTemplate:Or from the title of the story that it is black. It sustains itself by feeding upon a substance it calls the Id of other beings, which is not related to the Freudian concept but is actually organic phosphorus, most probablyTemplate:Or as the phosphate groups bound in ATP.
It appears indifferent to environment and can survive in different atmospheres. It also has the ability to manipulate EM radiation (referred to as "electric vibrations" in the story) at will, and seems to communicate via this method.
In "Black Destroyer", a sentient creature that calls itself Coeurl lives on an alien planet, feeding on the "id" of local creatures. When a human starship (the Space Beagle) arrives on the planet, they find Coeurl but assume it is an unintelligent animal, and even allow it to come onboard. Coeurl realizes it can feed on humans but plays along in order to learn more about them and their ship. Eventually however, it gives in to hunger and kills and feeds on one of the ship's crew. The crew suspects the Coeurl did it, and tries to prove it by feeding him organically-bound phosphorus similar to that in the victim's bones, but Coeurl is smart enough to pass the test. Eventually however, he is found out and tries to escape, but it is no match for the human's technology, and in the end commits suicide.
Other appearances Edit
The displacer beast in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game was inspired by the coeurl—the two have the same idea of tentacles coming from the shoulders, as well as a feline appearance, and the displacer beast uses "vibrations" to confuse its enemies.
The Dirty Pair have a coeurl named Mughi as a sidekick.
Coeurls inhabit Mount Zoaka in the MUD Lusternia.