List of Star Trek animals
This is a list of fictional extraterrestrial animal species from the science fiction universe of Star Trek. Like other aspects of stories in the franchise, they were recurring plot elements from one episode to another and sometimes from one series to another. Some have gained significance beyond the dedicated fans of the series; the furry, fast-breeding tribble has gained a place in popular culture and language.
This list describes the more notable fictional animals featured in Star Trek films or multiple episodes.
The Cardassian vole is a fictional rodent species in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was a pest aboard the space station, infesting Quark's Bar as well as Ops where it chewed through wiring. It is quite unlike the voles of Earth, most notably in that it has six legs. It is also much bigger than a terrestrial vole.
Although he has denied it, Quark hosts vole fights. Morn has been known to assist him in setting up the events by painting numbers on the voles' backs.
The Ceti eel appears in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It is the only indigenous lifeform of Ceti Alpha V known to have survived after Ceti Alpha VI exploded and sent Ceti Alpha V into a different orbit. Ceti eels incubate their larvae between protective plates that line their backs. The slime-covered larva will seek out a larger animal, enter its skull through the ear and wrap itself around the cerebral cortex. This causes the subject intense pain and makes them susceptible to suggestion. As the larva grows, the host suffers from insanity and eventual death. Ceti eels bear a remarkable resemblance to antlion larvae.
Khan Noonien Singh and his followers were marooned on this planet by James T. Kirk. Khan's wife, Marla McGivers, was killed after becoming a host for one of these creatures. Twenty more of Khan's people were killed in the same fashion, forming the basis for Khan's vendetta against Kirk. In the film, Captain Clark Terrell and Commander Pavel Chekov were captured by Khan while conducting a close-range sensor scan on the planet. Khan put the larvae into their helmets, where the creatures crawled into the men’s ears and subsequently burrowed into their brains. Terrell later killed himself, but Chekov's larva exited his ear and was disintegrated by a phaser-blast from Admiral Kirk's phaser.
In popular culture, the Ceti eel is widely considered a terrifying creature.
The 2009 reboot Star Trek film introduces "Centaurian slugs" with a similar appearance and function, as a homage.
A 2011 episode of Supernatural ("...And Then There Were None") showed a creature that took over the minds of people by burrowing into their heads in the same way as Ceti eels. The character Dean Winchester dubbed the creature the "Khan Worm".
The Regulan bloodworm is a worm-like lifeform, native to the planet Regulus II. It is described as a soft, spineless creature that is medically useful for cleaning the lymphatic system; however, Regulan bloodworms can also infect sentient races, causing sickness and death.
The first reference to Regulan bloodworms was as an insult in the Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles," written by David Gerrold. Gerrold also wrote an episode for Star Trek: The Next Generation, tentatively titled "Blood and Fire", in which the Enterprise's crew comes across a derelict ship with a dead crew, all killed by a Regulan bloodworm infestation. The episode, which was meant to introduce a science-fiction analogue for the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s, was never produced, but a modified version was produced in the web series Star Trek: Phase II.
This two-part episode (4x04 and 4x05, released in 2008) was also entitled "Blood and Fire". In it, the Enterprise crew attempts to rescue members of a federation vessel who unknown to them have violated a 100-year quarantine on visits to the Regulus system, and subsequently were contaminated by a deadly plague of "doomsday" Regulan bloodworms. In this episode, the creatures are seen as a universal threat to not only the Federation but also to the Klingon Empire as well. They are exposed as having been created by the Regulan civilization as a doomsday weapon, which resulted in the extinction of all life in the system. As it turns out, the covert operation of the Federation research vessel, led by an over-zealous Federation scientist, was actually designed to unleash the creatures on the Klingon Empire, causing mass genocide, while the Federation would be protected by a newly discovered cure for the infection. The analogy to the HIV virus and AIDS remains as two of the primary characters are males who were in love and had plans to marry. One, the nephew of Captain Kirk, Peter Kirk, narrowly escapes, but his husband-to-be, Alex Freeman, dies as the bloodworms attack.
The medical use of Regulan bloodworms was suggested or carried out by Doctor Phlox in the episodes "Two Days and Two Nights", "Stratagem" and "Doctor's Orders" of Star Trek: Enterprise. Illustrations of the creatures were also featured in the schoolroom and infirmary of Deep Space Nine.
A wild Sehlat
The sehlat is a large carnivore native to Vulcan. Sehlats have six-inch fangs and do not like to climb, preferring to remain on low ground. In 2154, Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander T'Pol were stalked by a wild sehlat in "The Forge".
Domesticated sehlats are a popular pet with Vulcan children. These sehlats are smaller, though not much so, and still quite aggressive: T'Pol, having owned one, notes that Vulcan children learn early never to be late with their sehlat's dinner.
Spock had a pet sehlat named I-Chaya during his youth which originally belonged to his father, Sarek. I-Chaya died in 2237, as a result of injuries inflicted from an attack by a large creature called a le-matya. Spock chose to have his pet euthanized to end its suffering. In the novelization of "Yesteryear" by Alan Dean Foster, it is revealed that sehlats originated in the "rainforests of Vulcan's southern hemisphere."
The Tribble is a small, soft, furry creature which reproduces rapidly.
- Antlions in popular culture, AntlionPit. This page also describes the adult Ceti eel as resembling an oversized antlion larva.
- Gagh at official website StarTrek.com
- Regulan bloodworm at official website StarTrek.com
- "Blood and Fire", Star Trek - Phase II
- Sehlat at official website StarTrek.com
- "The Forge" (ENT)
- "Journey to Babel" (TOS), "Yesteryear" (TAS).
- Foster, Allen Dean, Star Trek, Log One. Ballantine, 1974
- Heart of targ at official website StarTrek.com
- "Production Report: 'Affliction'". StarTrek.com Archived July 24, 2008 at the Wayback Machine