|View static image|
|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 glider eater, and it is also the 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.
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 (June 1971). "Lifeline Volume 2".
- Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.