Whyaati closely resemble Humans in several aspects in form, but have very unique physiologies that sets them apart from the galactic average. Physically, Whyaati tend to stand a bit shorter than your average Human- about 165-175cm- with females and males being similar height. Physically, they have the same ethnicities as many other galactic species. Whyaati can be broken down into Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. The Whyaati build is a bit slighter than Humans, and they have a wiry, smooth build without bulging muscle definition. Their smooth look helps them navigate in water and makes them surprisingly hydrodynamic.
All Whyaati seem to have straight or wavy hair, regardless of ethnicity. The hair ranges in color and is coarse and somewhat oily so as to provide water resistance and protects the skin. Caucasoids tend to have blonde, black, brown or navy blue. Negroids have black or deep purple and Mongloids, black, purple or deep auburn hair. As a sign of devotion to their caste, most Whyaati dye a strip of their hair either gold (Religious), silver (Military) or copper (Guilded). Further, most members of the species have what is known as a "Que", a braid of hair that is seen as a marker of status. Religious casters have it grown from the sideburn and is curved around the ear. Military casters generally place it in a thick braid behind the head and Guilded often braid the opposite, non metallically dyed set of bangs.
Their skin is hairless, smooth and has a slightly oily texture that makes their epidermis appear to "glisten" like patches of prisms in bright sunlight. The skin only grows hair during extended periods of cold (i.e. winter). This hair is extremely fine, like Human "peach fuzz", is white in color, and grows where a Human would find normal body hair.
The Whyaati skin is marked by several areas or "patches" of a royal blue, navy blue, deep red or purple skin. These areas are always found under the arms, along the sides of the torso, the pubic region, the inner thigh, the palms of the hand and on the soles of the feet. In addition, several ranges of L, C and T-shaped blue, red or purple spots can be found body wide. These spots begin at the edge of the cranial ridge, go down the neck where they meet a ring encircling tightly around the neckline. They pick up again as they descend the spinal column to the vestigial tail. Rows of spots also descend down the both sides of the legs and down the outer arms, were they end at the digits. A row also descends down the highly placed Whyaati navel.
The eyes of the Whyaati are also unique, for they possess no discernible pupil. Instead, the iris focuses in and out very much like a camera lens may. Along the outer iris is a nearly shimmering layer that resembles the reflective materials found in the eye or a Deer or Cat.
The eyes can release a special oil that clears sight while in water, giving them 20/20 vision in water. The eyes tend to be blue, green, purple or yellow in color. Most Caucasoids possess green, blue or purple. Most of the Negroid eyes are purple or yellow and the Mongoloids have green or yellow eyes.
The Whyaati Navel is placed roughly three centimeters below the end of the Human sternum. The Whyaati possess two "ridges". The first is the cranial ridge that ascends from the nose and disappears mid-skull, well into the hair. This ridge also possesses vertical ridging, very much like the Bajoran nose. The second is an exposed bone ridge on the sternum. This was originally a pectoral fin that has become useless in adulthood, much like the tail.
Whyaati possess an unusually flat, featureless stomach marked only by a row of spots from this region is characterized by unusual air sponges with connections to the lung. In all likelihood, this was an inflatable and collapsible "swim bladder". Whyaati also possess a small, 12-15cm, triangular shaped tail that lays in the cleft of the buttocks.
There are a series of membranes that connect each toe. The foot is also naturally flatter, creating, in essence, a flipper. The hands too have some minor webbing, but it is barely noticeable.
The ear is also developed in such a way as to allow better acoustic pick-up in the water. Its internally different, with multiple resonating eardrums, but it also have several ridges in the cartilage that allow sound to be redirected to the eardrums. This allows Whyaati to distinguish various noises and sounds while in a liquid environment. As a simple evolutionary feature, the ear possesses two Vulcan-like points in a vertical line and possesses vertical ridging (like the nose) near the upper portion of the ear.
Internally, Whyaati are very complex. This complexity gives them redundancy should something terrible happen, but it also gives them trouble in late life, as these systems can grow out of sync. As a result, most Whyaati don't live much longer than 90-110. Even with modern medicine, no Whyaati had lived longer than 125.
The Whyaati possess three segmented lungs, a bisected, four chambered heart (operates as two hearts), two livers and four kidneys. Sections of the brain also seem to have limited backups. (most prominently is the Medula Oblongata). The internal organs also protect themselves. The lung are encased in ribs that have powerful muscles attaching them. The heart is located deep within the lung complex. The stomach, pancreas and gall bladder are surrounded by the two livers which hug closely to the diaphragm. The four kidneys, spleen, bladder, small intestine and reproductive organs are protected by the swim bladder and the large intestines.
Whyaati are a type of warm-blooded aquatic, mammalian "marsupial" that seems to have evolved from tropical primates. They have a slightly higher body temperature of 99.2 degrees.
Whyaati have several natural evolutionary developments that allows them to become excellent swimmers. The first is their high lung capacity. This allows them to go fifteen (15) minutes without surfacing. They can also swim a bit deeper unaided than a Human- roughly 110 feet. The adult vestigial tail, the vestigial pectoral fin- a bony breast ridge and the swim bladder all served a function during infant Whyaati development, but in the adult stage, all three are generally useless.
The Whyaati are typical primates when it comes to the general characteristics of gender differences. However, Whyaati are not constantly fertile and undergo a "Heat" induced by the burning of excess Telk. The Heat causes two unusual sexual traits to emerge, which last only during the Heat. The male grows a spongy, hooked, pinkish-red, velcro-like tissue on his stomach. The female grows a softer, more felty tissue on her stomach. These tissues combine hormones to signal the female to grow her mammary pocket or "Pouch". Because the primary feeding and care of the infant takes place within this pouch, Whyaati females do not tend to have exceptionally large bosoms.
Telk is a unique Whyaati hormone and fluid. It is a thin but very viscous liquid that appears to be a medium, transparent blue color. Whyaati blood is naturally iron-based, so therefore it is red. Inside of a Whyaati, these two substances run together in the same lymphatic and circulatory system. It appears to be red blood with conduits of clear blue running through. Telk is manufactured in the Whyaati body in small glands located under the arms and in the groin, hence the deep blue colors of these regions.
Telk serves two major functions. First, it fortifies the body with increased oxygen and helium when the Whyaati dives deep. This, compared with an impressive lung structure and swim bladder, is how the Whyaati can maintain deeper depths and longer time periods underwater.
Telk also has reproductive responsibilities. It is what triggers the Whyaati Heat and allows the body to become fertile. Over an eight year period, Telk levels increase from a one to ten ratio, to a one to six ratio, nearly doubling its volume in the body. When this takes place, the Whyaati enters The Heat to burn off excess Telk. This burning off process causes lean tissue growth and a marked increase in metabolism and energy. It also affects the Whyaati's reasoning centers and stimulates the sexual impulses. Lastly, it causes rapid psionic signal firing and hypersensitivity.
Whyaati do not maintain an active reproductive cycle throughout their lives. Every eight (8) years, the Whyaati enters into what is called "The Heat". The Heat is characterized by a constant state of arousal, heightened extroverted behavior, a constant blush of the skin, particularly on the chest, cheeks and buttocks, and a need to couple.
This period happens during the first month of spring and lasts for three weeks. During this time, the Whyaati has faster metabolism and tends to have great endurance. Mentally, they are easily distracted by beauty, smells, attractive people, music and get bored quickly if doing mundane tasks. During The Heat, most Whyaati try to stay very active.
The Whyaati, because of their embrace of emotions and love of life, could be considered rather sexually active people. However, sex is never taken lightly. Casual flirtation is fine, but the Whyaati frown on performing such activity with stranger or acquaintances.
Whyaati recognize two forms of sex. What they consider lovemaking is the same as any other species. There is love, heightened affection, etc. Lovemaking is sex to feel good and to express deep affection and is done "Out of Heat." Because the entire Whyaati quadruple is married, they will engage in sexual activity with all their partners.
High Sex is only done during The Heat. It is very ritualized, and invoke more mental and psychic pleasure, but less physical pleasure. It is done to reproduce and make offspring. This is the only time when the quadruple will split off into their Primes.
Because of the Heat, any quadruples that make love to each other during this time is almost guaranteed to have offspring- about 87%. That number drops as successive Chances pass. By the mid-30?s, or Third Chance, the number drops to 72%. By 60 to 65, the Whyaati cannot have children. Whyaati have a higher incidence of twins and triplet births. Roughly 36% of the population boasts a fraternal or maternal twin.
Maturation and the pregnancy cycle is enviously short for Whyaati women-five (5) months. During this time, the Whyaati mother tends to be sluggish and tired. Whyaati mothers also suffer from the abnormal physiological response of "tingling" of the extremities. They also tend to complain of it being very cold. Like many mothers, they develop very strange food and drink cravings.
Whyaati children are born live, but tend to require a larger amount of attention than Human babies, because they are smaller and a bit less developed. Because of this, Whyaati women develop a high fever for the next four months. This is used to help warm the baby, like a natural incubator. The child is placed in a Marsupial-like pouch to allow to continue to grow for another three or four months.
Whyaati children are born less developed than Human babies and thus, must spend another few months in their mother's pouch, where they become more acclaimated to the outside pressures and temperatures. When a child is removed from this pouch, they are primarily aquatic for the next eight to twelve months. They possess small gills under the shoulderblades and a swim bladder in the stomach. A Whyaati instinctively knows how to swim and hold their breath at birth. After eight months to a year, the Whyaati child is increasingly weened from the aquatic environment to a more amphibious one. By age three, these gills have completed sealed themselves.
The Whyaati have impressive psychic potential. Most Whyaati become natural short-range receptive telepaths, meaning they receive the surface thoughts of people and (sometimes) animals with 4-6 feet). Those who are projective telepaths tend to become entertainers and spokesmen. A few members of bani Teynar are encouraged to develop their clairvoyant potential. Because of the natural openness of Whyaati society, they tend to not be as adept to developing Mind Shields. A few Whyaati, especially in the Jal Pa and Marines will develop it to help in their jobs. Some military disciplines are cascade powers of Mind Shield- Mind Retention, for example. Mind Retention is a military psi-discipline developed purely for the Jal Pa (Military Intelligence). It allows a Whyaati who is assimilated to maintain some level of subconscious individuality, enough to operate as a spy or subversive until they can be rescued.
The Whyaati are not born with psychic power, but are naturally quite receptive to it. The abilities are developed through education in the middle years of childhood (6-8). Children are taught to use their blossoming psychic talents with discretion and responsibility. Whyaati do not look well upon those who abuse their talents.
If a Whyaati were to be raised in a non-psychic society, they would not develop their psionics past a latent level. Most Whyaati born in other societies will develop latent psychometry and limited ?hints? at a person?s thoughts. It is also interesting to note that a Whyaati without his powers tends to be much more emotionally hidden and conservative. It may be linked to the psychic openness of Whyaati culture.