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Ancient humanoid

Progenitor female in a recorded greeting

"All humanoid life has a similar genetic pattern."
– Data, 2370 ("Genesis")

Humanoids were a group of lifeforms with a common body plan generally consisting of bilateral symmetry, an upright posture, two arms, two legs, hands, feet, one thorax, a neck, and a head containing the brain. They could be mammalian, reptilian, insectoid, ornithoid, or amphibious, and often originated on class M planets. It was common for them to have one to four sexes. Among the many humanoid species known throughout the Milky Way Galaxy were Andorians, Bajorans, Betazoids, Bolians, Cardassians, Hirogen, Humans, Klingons, Romulans, and Vulcans.

Ancient origins[]

Despite the vast distances separating their homeworlds, many humanoid species have been found to share a remarkable commonality in form and genetic coding. These similarities were believed to be evidence of a common ancestry, an ancient humanoid species, who lived in our galaxy's distant past some four billion years ago.

To preserve their heritage, this species seeded the primordial oceans of many potentially hospitable planets with encoded DNA fragments. The genetic information incorporated into the earliest lifeforms on those planets and through pre-programmed mutations caused by a genetic template, directed evolution toward a physical development similar to their own. Because of this controlled mutation mechanism, most habitable planets in the galaxy evolved with many physically similar species (for example fish, trees, dogs, insects), and on many of those worlds with at least one sentient species with a humanoid configuration. Most of these humanoids were even interfertile with each other. This was accomplished with the same mysterious technology that was used by an unknown race to originally create these Progenitors.

Anatomically, a significant percentage of those lifeforms were outwardly indistinguishable from Humans, right down to such morphological minutiae as the same racial phenotypes, hair distribution patterns, fingernails, and cartilaginous folds of the nose and ears. The reason they were so astonishingly similar to the Human race was because the "Human form" represents the basic way that evolution most likely takes for the dominant mammalian race on an average class M planet under the influence of the genetic codes and the other humanoid races (for example Klingons, Cardassians, Vulcans) developed under very specific and usually unique environmental conditions.

Humanoid progenitors[]

In one of the most remarkable scientific detective stories in history, archaeologist Galen of Earth uncovered the similarities between certain DNA sequences in lifeforms from widely separated planets. He discovered that these DNA sequences were a puzzle deliberately left behind by the Progenitors. The DNA sequences, when assembled by protein-link compatibilities, formed an ingenious computer program, a message of peace and goodwill to their progeny. This message, assembled in 2369 in an unprecedented example of interstellar cooperation, was a confirmation that many humanoid species in this galaxy are indeed members of the same family, despite their significant differences. (TNG: "The Chase")

The humanoid form was further distributed by species such as the Preservers, a super-race which passed through the galaxy rescuing primitive cultures in danger of extinction, and seeding them on other worlds where they could be allowed to grow and thrive. In addition, when the non-corporeal lifeform Sargon was encountered by the crew of the USS Enterprise in 2268, he implied that some humanoid races, such as the Vulcans, were the product of ancient colonization by his race before they lost their physical forms. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome", "Return to Tomorrow")

In 3191, after discovering the technology used by the Progenitors to create humanoid life, Captain Michael Burnham met the mind of a Progenitor who was pulled into the higher dimension from her own space-time. The Progenitor explained that her race had merely found the technology rather than built it and that the same technology had been used to create the Progenitors themselves, possibly as a part of a cycle of creators and creations. While the Progenitors could've used it to outright create humanoid life, they had chosen to simply seed life instead because of the potential risks of using the technology on such a large scale. (DIS: "Life, Itself")

Taxonomy of humanoids[]

The Xindi did not apply the term in the same way as many of the other social groups in the Milky Way Galaxy. For them, "humanoid" was a word that only applied to the Xindi-Primates, despite the fact that the Arboreals and the Reptilians also generally met the criteria. (ENT: "Proving Ground", "The Council")

Starfleet developed a classification system for humanoids which included at least five variations including class 3 humanoids, such as the Vidiians, and class 5 humanoids, such as the Vhnori.


See also[]

Background information[]

The TNG Season 1 Writers'/Directors' Guide states that "Humanoid in our series means a life form which is similar to Humans. (Two legs, arms, head, etc.) In the past, we have met humanoid aliens, such as Klingons, Vulcans and Romulans."

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