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Salarians: Biology

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Mass Effect & Mass Effect 2

Salarians are noted for their high-speed metabolism, which allows them to function on just one hour of sleep a day. Their minds and bodies work faster than most sapient races, making them seem restless or hyperactive. The drawback of this active metabolism is a short lifespan of around 40 human years.

The salarians are amphibian haplo-diploid egg-layers; unfertilized eggs produce males and fertilized eggs produce females. Once a year, a salarian female will lay a clutch of dozens of eggs. Social rules prevent all but a fraction from being fertilized. As a result, 90% of the species is male.

Salarians have photographic memories and rarely forget a fact. They also possess a form of psychological 'imprinting', tending to defer to those they knew in their youth. Salarian hatching is a solemn ritual in which the clan Dalatrass (matriarch) isolates herself with the eggs. The young salarians psychologically imprint on her and tend to defer to her wishes.

During the hatching of daughters, the Dalatrasses of the mother and father's clans are present at the imprinting. This ensures that the offspring have equal loyalty to both, ensuring the desired dynastic and political unity.

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