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Ghdar
Homeworld of the Gorn Confederation
 

• Anatomy • The Confederation • Childhood • Language • Government • Military • Race Relations •

Gorn Anatomy

The Gorn reptilian ancestry is obvious. However a number of stereotypes based on this appearance began to circulate mere moments after the Gorn where first seen in the episode, the Arena. Lets take some time to look at what the Gorn truly are. 

As is obvious the Gorn are of a reptilian descent. However it is more than a cosmetic ancestry. Like Reptiles on earth the Gorn are cold blooded and lay eggs for reproduction. 

As can be seen in the episode in which they appeared, the Gorn are physically larger than humans. The average Gorn stands 7’ 3” and weighs in about 475 pounds. This makes him about 1’ 4” and almost 2 times the weight of an average human.  Now on first glance the Gorn would appear to be heavier than what the average is. This is an illusion based on outward appearance. Gorn bones are actually hollow, this means that while the structure is larger the average Gorn weighs less than he would appear. While the bones are hollow, the bones have a unique hex cell structure that makes them incredible strong. Hence an average Gorn bone weighs about half as much as a human bone but has almost 10 times the strength. 

The large Gorn eyes enable the Gorn to receive a great deal of visual information. They have almost 20% better peripheral vision than a human however they also have a drawback. The Gorn home worlds are all in systems with red stars. This has resulted in the Gorn developing under more subdued lighting conditions than humans. Almost a constant state of twilight for the day, as such the Gorn eye collects a lot of light, enabling better night vision. However they find our light, with it’s whites and blues, very glaring and in some instances actually painful. Imagine a bright sunny day on a fresh covered snowfield and you begin to get the idea.  Gorn hearing is almost similar to human hearing, except the Gorn can hear better than humans in the lower frequencies. Basically what this means is that the Gorn hear better in the bass noise ranges and not quite as well in the higher noises. 

The Gorn physical strength advantage over humans is obvious. This is largely due to the shear size of the Gorn. However it also has to do with the amount of muscle mass the Gorn possess. An average human has around 10% body fat, while the average Gorn has less than 2% body fat. This means that most of the Gorn mass is made up of muscle tissue. However this tissue is of the slow-twitch variety and as such the Gorn have impressive strength and endurance but lack the speed of humans and most other races. The best analogy of this would be, in a fistfight a human can hit a Gorn 10 times before the Gorn would land his first punch, but he would only need one. 

Speaking of fighting. The Gorn possess claws on both hands and feet. Many have assumed that these are used during combat. While they can and are used, the Gorn tend to rely more on pure physical power in a fight. If they do use a natural weapon to fight, it tends to be the immense row of teeth they possess. 

A close examination of the Gorn dental work reveals a solid row of incisors. These teeth are all meant to rip and tear at food, mostly meat. However a more detailed examination reveals an interesting fact. While the Gorn have an excellent set of incisors, they lack any form of molars. Basically this means that the Gorn can rip the food apart into bite size chunks but the teeth are not designed to effectively crunch and grind the food down for easy passage and digestions. This leads to a fascinating area of Gorn physiology, the Gorn throat. 

As mentioned above, when a Gorn eats, his teeth are designed to rip the food apart. Once the bite is in his mouth the Gorn swallows the bite whole. The Gorn throat is able to expand to almost ½ again its full size. As the food passes down the Gorn throat the muscles contract on the food, crushing it and pulverizing it before it reaches the stomach.  

Another interesting aspect of the Gorn is their taste system. This also doubles as their sense of smell. It is so highly refined that Gorn can taste pheromone changes in other Gorn around them. In fact this sense of taste/smell is so accurate that in a room full of Gorn, each one can distinguish the smells of

the others individually. This highly developed sense has had a major impact of many aspects of Gorn society and even it’s language. Added to this is an extreme level of pheromone and hormone control. Gorn are actually able to elevate and lower their level of release so that their scent can be controlled to some extent.  Further research has shown that the Gorn are actually three different races. While the Gorn have evolved on three separate worlds, in truth they are the same species. Gorn from each of the three home worlds can freely procreate, transfuse blood, and even provide organ donations. Most of the differences between the three races are purely cosmetic. This commonality between the three Gorn races has led to a lot of research. Genetically the Gorn are almost a perfect match, also the fossil records of all three worlds do not support the Gorn as having evolved there. As such major speculation has begun in support of the Gorn being a transplanted race. 

As mentioned, the differences between the races are largely cosmetic. Such things as the size of the nose, the shape of the head, all of these vary in minor detail and even vary within each race. The most common difference seems to be seen in the coloration of the scales. The Gorn from Ghdar tend toward gray and off white edging on their scales. The Geydar tend toward shades of brown and tan. The Gorn from Gihdahr have little in the way of edge coloration, they do tend to have a wider variance in the overall scale color, ranging from a dark, almost black green to much paler shades of green. 

Of interesting note with this, is the nature of the worlds that each race lives on. Ghdar is a temperate planet with a great deal of rocky terrain; most of the stone has a gray coloration. The planet Geydar is mostly a desert world, with limited pockets of vegetation. Gihdahr is largely a forested world, with temperate and tropical forests throughout. This would seem to indicate that the Gorn possess some level of chameleon ability hidden within their genetic makeup. However further evidence can be found, a small, less than 1 in 10,000,000, percentage of the Gorn population are born with the chameleon gene active. These Gorn are recruited at an early age for special duties. 

There are other color variations, ranging the full spectrum of color. The most rare is the blue/yellow edged scales. Over time these have come to denote royalty and are thus greatly revered and sought after.

What is even of more interest is that the differences between the Gorn sexes are even less pronounced that those between the Gorn races. The Gorn male reproductive organs are carried inside the male and only extrude during mating. Sine the female lays eggs; there are not noticeable changes in the female anatomy to provide a way to feed the young. The only differences between male and female tend to be in the size and aggression level. In this case things will seem backward to a human. Gorn females tend to be 15% larger on the average than Gorn males; they are stronger and tend to be more aggressive. This has led to a large percentage of Gorn Marines and Security Guards being female. Now that we have the basic facts on the anatomy of the Gorn lets take a look at their life cycle. Gorn females have a limited fertility period, being able to lay eggs only twice per solar year. The period that the female may become pregnant is also limited usually only for a 48 hour cycle. This results in very few Gorn females being pregnant at any one time. As an example, a poll done in the old USA during the late 20th century showed that approximately 37% of the female human population was pregnant at any one time, in the case of the Gorn this percentage is much lower, closer to 2%. When a female does lay eggs, she will typically lay 5-8 eggs per clutch. 

The eggs will lay the hatchery for about 180 days before hatching. When first laid the eggs have a leathery texture and are actually quite soft to the touch. During the incubation period the eggs grow, usually to almost 3 times their birth size. The shell hardens as the egg grows and is quite brittle when it is hatched. The baby Gorn that are produced stand about 2 1/2’ tall and are fully capable of walking and eating solid food. They are born will a full set of teeth, claws and a tail.  Gorn childhood is very short by human standards, with a Gorn reaching puberty by the age of 10 solar years. At this age the Gorn is typically 80% of his full size and has undergone an intensive education system. At this age the Gorn is considered an adult. 

At this point the Gorn aging process slows a great deal. The middle of the Gorn life (for a human this stage is from age 20 to age 40) is from age 11 to roughly age 80. During this time no signs of age appear to slow down, weaken or in any way limit the activity of the Gorn. The next stage of the Gorn life (the equivalent of Human 41-60) lasts until the age of 120. This stage is signified by the loss of the ability to reproduce as well as a gradual decline in size and strength. From 120 to the end of the Gorn's life, usually around age 160, the Gorn will gradually grow weaker and less active. However unlike many races the Gorn mind does not deteriorate with age. All the wisdom and knowledge the Gorn has accumulated over his life remains in tact.

 

 

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