|View static image|
|Pattern type|| Strict still life |
|Number of cells||7|
|Discovered by||Bill Gosper|
|Year of discovery||1971|
Eater 1 (or fishhook or simply eater) was the first discovered eater. It was observed independently by several Life enthusiasts in 1971 as the smallest asymmetric still life. The name "fishhook", which is still occasionally used, was suggested by Clement A. Lessner III and William P. Webb.
It only takes four generations to recover from being hit by a glider, making it the fastest-recovering and also smallest glider eater. As such, it appears as a stabilizer at the corner of dozens of oscillators including 36P22, buckaroo, P54 shuttle, pentoad, pre-pulsar shuttle 47, and snacker due to its ability to change the evolution of nearby objects without being affected itself.
The tail and head of the eater can also function as a boat-bit.
Eater 1 is the thirteenth most common still life in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being less common than mango but more common than long barge. It is also the seventeenth most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue. It is the third most common 7-bit still life, being less common than the long boat but more common than the python. It is the rarest object in Catagolue for which a 2-glider synthesis is known.
Eater 1 is extremely useful as an eater because in addition to being able to eat gliders, it can also eat blinkers, lightweight spaceships, loaves, middleweight spaceships, pre-beehives, R-bees and many other patterns, as shown below. Its tail can be used as a rock that eats an unnamed 7-cell polyplet. Its pre-beehive eating reaction is used in the period-12 oscillator dinner table.
- Robert Wainwright. "Lifeline Volume 2".
- Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
- Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.