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For the puppets, see Grogs (YTV). For the clay caricatures, see Grogg.

Grogs are a fictional extraterrestrial species in author Larry Niven's Known Space universe. They first appeared in the short story "The Handicapped".

In the fiction of Known Space,Grogs are a sessile lifeform, spending most of their lives attached to a rock from which they catch prey using their extremely long tongue. The young of the species are motile, the female being described as something like a hairy bulldog and the male approximately the size of a chihuahua. Both possess serrated cutting edges instead of teeth. After mating, they search out a suitable location in which to settle and become sessile adults. The sessile adults appear as a furry cone roughly 5 feet (1.5 m) high by 4 feet (1.2 m) wide at the base with a bald, rounded point and a reddish coloration similar to the sands of their environment. They possess four small hairless vestigial paws, a 3-foot (0.91 m)-wide mouth and no eyes.

Grogs are found only on the human colony world of Down and were initially assumed to be non-sentient. It was since discovered that they were indeed sentient and furthermore possessed telepathic abilities which they used to control prey animals, literally making them leap into their mouths. It was hypothesized that they were the devolved descendants of the Thrint species, but the Grogs claimed to have no knowledge of their ancestors.

Because Grogs can read and control human minds their threat potential was considered sufficient to demand that precautions be taken in the form of a Bussard ramjet kept in orbit around Down's sun (where it was hoped it would be out of range of the Grogs' telepathy); this would be used to create an artificial solar flare and sterilize the world of Down should the Grog take aggressive action against other species. It is implied that Grogs are aware of human fears and are careful to appear friendly and benevolent.

Grogs apparently are later allowed to travel off Down, as a Grog is later mentioned as a passenger aboard a human-built interstellar liner headed to the human-colonized world of Gummidgy in the short story "Grendel".


The Handicapped (short story), in Neutron Star (New York: Ballantine, 1968, pp. 51–72 ISBN 0-345-29665-6)

External links[edit]

  • Grogs at the Encyclopedia of Known Space