Although many regions of the moon have yet to be explored, xenobiologists currently believe that the thanator may be the apex land predator on Pandora. Reminiscent of a Terran panther, this enormous, powerful animal is unique in its ability to lord over its territory and strike fear into the largest and fiercest of Pandora's creatures. Even the Na'vi, who are renowned for their courage, are shaken by the approach of the creature; it is not celebrated in dance or song.
Its musculature is pronounced and impressive, providing power for protracted runs and leaps. The speed of its neck and jaw strike is as swift as a camera shutter. In addition to conventional ripping and tearing, the thanator can also deliver a lethal blow from its armored tail. The thanator's senses are so highly developed that, depending on atmospheric conditions, it can detect prey up to thirteen kilometers away.
The thanator appears to hunt alone and normally does not stray outside of its territory, which is believed to be roughly 300 square kilometers. It appears to hunt mainly at night, although seems to make an exception if hungry enough.
Surprisingly, the thanator has ten sensory quills, two each sprouting from armor plating that encircles the rear of the skull. The function of the quills is poorly understood, but it has been hypothesized that they may be tied to an internal mechanism of prey location.