|“||I can't shoot a gun or use a crossbow, but, well... I'm getting pretty good with these.||”|
Claws are sharp pointed fingernails (and, on occasion, toenails) that are long, sharp, strong and tough enough to claw, scratch and otherwise tear apart bodies without breaking or snapping off. The majority of supernatural and unnatural shapeshifters possess the ability to manifest these claws at will as a subsection of their shapeshifting power, causing their "human" nails to grow, change shape, and become exponentially stronger. They typically extend their claws by making a flicking gesture with their hands and fingers, and will retract them through clenching their fists.
Species with Claws
Most of the Chimeras introduced in the series possess claws, but their appearance and function vary depending on the species that gave them their powers. Theo Raeken, as a Werewolf/Werecoyote Chimera, has the same claws that those shapeshifters typically possess; after he stole Tracy Stewart's powers, they temporarily possessed the power to secrete Kanima Venom, as Tracy possessed Werewolf claws that could do the same. When Hayden Romero was still a Werewolf/Werejaguar Chimera, possessed the same claws as these species as well; the appearance of her claws did not change upon being bitten and turned into a Beta Werewolf. Lucas, a Werewolf/Scorpion Chimera, had claws like a Werewolf that may or may not have secreted the same venom that his stingers produced which caused excruciating pain in its victims.
Josh Diaz was a Chimera of unknown species whose claws, while resembling those of a werecreature, glowed the same purple color of his eyes and could direct his electromagnetokinetic energy into his enemies. Meanwhile, Belasko, a Werewolf/Garuda Chimera, possessed large talons that glowed bright blue and that could steal the power of other supernaturals. The unnamed female Chimera who was inadvertently killed by Kira Yukimura had extremely long black claws that were thin like needles, and Noah Patrick, a part-Berserker Chimera, could extend large, long bone claws from his knuckles and wrists, though doing so was a painful process due to his claws breaking through the skin every time he shifted.
Hellhounds such as Halwyn and Cerberus (and, by extension, their vessels, an unnamed man and Jordan Parrish, respectively) are capable of shapeshifting into their Hellhound form, which includes long, sharp, and blackened-looking claws extending from his fingernail beds. These claws are different from those of werecreatures, as they are darker in color, longer, and come to a much more needle-like point with a texture similar to that of volcanic rock.
The Kanima is a mutation of the Werewolf gene, a transformation caused by inner conflict which causes the host to become a lizard-like creature with extremely lethal claws that will paralyze a person with a single scratch due to the venom they can secrete. In their partially-shifted form, their claws are very similar to those of a Werewolf, though they are thicker due to the venom they secrete; however, when Kanimas are fully transformed, their claws become even larger, thicker, and more substantial, to the point where they more closely resemble talons.
A Löwenmensch, as a shapeshifter hybrid of a lion and a wolf, can extend and retract claws from their fingernail beds that look just like that of a werecreature. Garrett Douglas, the only known Löwenmensch, used his claws to rip out the throat of one of his fellow members of the Nazi German military's Anenherbe division during World War II, and he was also able to use them to injure a Ghost Rider to incapacitate him long enough to bite into his skull with his fangs before using his claws to rip out his pineal gland, demonstrating just how strong his claws are.
Werewolves possess sharp claws that, along with their fangs, are their primary weapons in their offensive capabilities; their claws are usually extended by making a flicking motion with their fingers, and are retracted by clenching their fists. In addition to their offensive function in battle and their ability to cut and shred strong substances, Werewolves can also use them to see, share or manipulate the memories of others by piercing the base of the neck of a person with their claws. The claws of a dead Werewolf can even be used to communicate with their owner, as Derek Hale demonstrated when he convinced Peter Hale to insert the claws of Derek's deceased mother and Peter's deceased sister, Talia Hale, into his own nail beds before thrusting the claws into the base of Derek's neck.
In very rare cases, the claws of an Alpha Werewolf can turn a human into a supernatural shapeshifter through an exceptionally deep scratch in the same manner as through a bite; this was demonstrated when Peter Hale used his claws to slit Kate Argent's throat, going so deep that her body was transformed into that of a Werejaguar, which allowed her newly gained accelerated healing powers to resurrect her.
The shape and size of a Werewolf's claws seem to vary among individuals; Deucalion for example, has noticeably long claws, possibly due to being an Augmented Alpha. Likewise, Scott McCall's claws grew significantly in length during the brief amount of time he shifted into his more bestial Alpha form. Another Augmented Alpha, Kali, was not only able to extend her fingernails into claws, but could also extend her toenails as well, giving her an extra advantage in battle.
Sebastien Valet, also known as the Beast of Gevaudan, has exceptionally long claws, even when he is only partially-transformed; in fact, he has the longest claws of any Werewolf introduced thus far. In Beast form, his claws are like talons, and he has an additional set of much shorter talons that extend from his knuckles.
Werecoyotes have claws identical to their Werewolf cousins, which they typically extend by making a flicking gesture and retract through clenching their fists. However, it is unknown if Werecoyotes have the Werewolf ability to perform the memory manipulation ritual to view, share, alter, and/or repress memories by inserting their claws into the base of the neck of another person; however, it has been implied that they can, as Malia Tate attempted to use hers to go into Elias Stilinski's mind when Scott McCall, a Werewolf, refused to do so, and offered to attempt it again when she and Lydia were trying to figure out how they could communicate with the partially-dead Hellhound Halwyn.
Werejaguars, like Werewolves and Werecoyotes, have long and extremely sharp claws which are strong enough to tear a person apart. This was demonstrated by Kate Argent when she lost control of her transformation and mauled a gas station attendant to death after he walked into the restroom in which she had locked herself. Whether or not they, too, can perform the memory manipulation rituals like their Werewolf counterparts remain unknown as well.
Users of unnatural claws
True Berserkers do not naturally possess their own claws, but, since their bodies are adorned with the bones and skin of a bear, they often strap a bear's claws to their fingers or tuck them into their belt to use as offensive weapons. These claws are long enough and sharp enough that they were easily able to impale a Deadpool assassin named Garrett, lifting him high in the air as it did so.but do use bone claws or spikes strapped to their hands or wrists which they use to impale their victims.
Malia, a Werecoyote, successfully used Belasko's talons to absorb the rest of her mother's powers, demonstrating that they still possessed their own power despite being separated from their intended owner. Malia did this by affixing the talons to her own claws and then shoving them into Corinne's stomach.
- The ability of a canine shapeshifter (i.e. Werewolves and Werecoyotes) to manifest their claws can be suppressed if they are exposed to The Chemist's modified canine distemper virus, as was revealed in Season 4's Weaponized; in Malia Tate's case, this meant that her claws came out involuntarily and would not retract, while Scott McCall had the opposite problem and couldn't get his claws to extend.
- The claws of a member of the Hale Family are required to open the Hale Vault.