"The Great Tribble Hunt" Edit

I doubt that the Tribble species ever actually became completely extinct, for we saw a few of them in the bar in ST3. --Clementi 07:05, 1 Jan 2005 (CET)

Not to mention in the hands of children evacuating the Enterprise-D's saucer section in "Encounter at Farpoint". -- Josiah Rowe 09:20, 1 Jan 2005 (CET)
I can't speak for the alledged appearances in "Encounter at Farpoint" but as for the bar Tribbles in ST III, Worf said that by the end of the 23rd century they had been eradicated, so at the time of the film the Klingons still would have had about fifteen years to exterminate every last tribble.--T smitts 05:31, 12 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Are you sure you're thinking of Encounter at Farpoint? Either way, I am 100% sure there's a tribble in Star Trek Generations. (I just watched it) Just before the ship seperates, there's a Human boy carrying a tribble (followed by a Bolian kid). - AJHalliwell 06:46, 21 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Could it be that this was a toy tribble, much as kids today have toy dinosaurs? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).
I checked "Encounter at Farpoint" again, there's another Vulcan boy being evacuated but he's not holding a Tribble, like in Generations. There's no Tribble at all in that scene, so I'll remove the Encounter at Farpoint-appearance from the main article. --Jörg 16:25, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
There is a Tribble in "When The Bough Breaks" and the fact that the girl used a cage to prevent escape suggest it was not just a toy. I do not see the Tribble becoming a toy in the ST universe. Dinosaur's were very famous, and if it was popular enough to be a toy, in DS9 they would have neither been confused by the extinction or need to ask what a Tribble is. --TOSrules 18:40, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Alexandras toy

Alexandra's toy

I don't think this is a Tribble. Here's a screenshot from the episode that shows that the toy has a braided tail and a black button or something similar, both not features of Tribbles. Furthermore, the script identifies the thing as a "stick-em toy". At the very end of the episodes, when Alexandra and Wesley Crusher come to the bridge to thank Picard for saving them, the toy sticks to Picards uniform to the amusement of the others. --Jörg 01:24, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Other appearancesEdit

Bashir holding coonskin cap

A Tribble?

I am thinking that perhaps the appearances list on this page should be unique, with a short note about where in the episode/movie they can be seen, as they are a popular topic with new fans and not always the easiest little critters to catch. Also, I remember Bashir holding one while watching Vic in the holosuite at the opening of an episode but I can't remember which one, if someone could add it? Tyrant 23:04, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)Tyrant

I also seem to remember Bashir holding one at Vics. Jaf 00:47, 19 March 2006 (UTC)Jaf
Could that have been the Coonskin cap held by Bashir and Vic at the very beginning of "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"? --Jörg 01:05, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Haha, it very well could be. Got a screen cap? Jaf 01:07, 19 March 2006 (UTC)Jaf
Sure, here you go: --Jörg 01:14, 19 March 2006 (UTC)


According to this web site [here] Tribbles were on Jeopardy! Can someone confirm? Jaf 03:47, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I remember seeing Tribbles on Jeopardy. No other confirmation yet though. Katie
I also remember seeing this as a kid. It would make for a nice picture in the background section. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).
The tribbles appeared - and multiplied - during one episode in teh 1997 Teen Tournament subsequent to a daily-double as a part of which Alex held up one tribble on his podium. By the time the next commercial break was over, they were already on the contestants' podiums and the stage floor. I don't recall if they were present in Final Jeopardy (possible distraction).

Tribble GeneticsEdit

-From the site: McCoy refers to the tribbles as "bisexual" which is incorrect. They are in fact reproducing asexually.

Is this from canon? If they are asexual, they should reproduce by mitosis and all tribbles should be the same color. If color were environmentally caused, you'd expect all of the tribbles that were found in the grain stores to be the same color, from eating the same food. I think McCoy is right, that they are bisexual. I suggest the comment be removed. -- 02:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I don't know if it's technically canon or not, but I believe in David Gerrold's book on writing the episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, he himself mentions that bisexual is incorrect, and that it (probably? been awhile since I've read it) should've been asexual. (Whether asexual is correct or not, is certainly open to debate, although I don't know that "asexual" necessarily = "reproduces by mitosis" anyway.) --umrguy42 02:48, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Asexual could also refer to parthenogenic reproduction, which is the internal development of offspring without the need for mating. McCoy's quote is that, as far as he can tell, "they're born pregnant." Sounds like parthenogenesis to me. Of course, in parthenogenesis, the individual produced is genetically identical to its parent. This is not necessarily a problem, as for all we know tribbles are genetically identical, they just express the genes randomly based on other factors. Another possibility is that they have a high mutation rate, which would come in handy to maintain genetic diverstity in a population that doesn't mate.Wolff359 04:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I got to go with McCoy on this one. First, he IS the Chief Medical Officer; I doubt that he would say "bisexual" when he meant "asexual." His quote about them being "born pregnant" sounds more like McCoy's wry sense of humor -- a bit of hyperbole surrounding how fast they reproduce -- than a statement of fact. "Bisexual" (present day PC attitudes aside) essentially means one is "hermaphroditic" (see For example, there are many bisexual plants on Earth that are capable of "self-pollination" as well as "cross-pollination" -- both of these types of reproduction are "sexual" not "asexual." As for being "born pregnant," even were that a serious comment, it would only require that the sex organs be functional, and self-fertilization be possible, prior to birth. Nowhere is there discussion of "spores" or "fission" or "budding" or any other method of "asexual" reproduction. (Note: "mitosis" as mentioned above is generally used in reference to "cell division"; "fission" would be the proper term to use on a multi-cellular level. Technically, "fission" is reproduction by spontaneous division of the body into two or more parts each of which grows into a complete organism. (Note: From a practical perspective, bodily division doesn't necessarily have to be "spontaneous" -- which is why shell fishermen no longer hack up starfish and toss them back into the ocean ;-) In a couple of camera shots we see two tribbles sort of "joined" together and it is not clear if we are seeing some sort of mating or there is a "fission" process going on. Based on what we can adduce in the episode, '60 censors aside, I have to go with "mating" and agree with the fellow at the top of this page; the comment should go ;-) FWIW: Sesquipedalian101 2008. (PDT) 04:30, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

'Star Trek: 25th Anniversary' referenceEdit

According to "Star Trek: 25th Anniversary" games computer: "Their rapid reproduction requires all Tribbles to be 'fixed' before any sale may occur". --Fulltwistnow 23:40, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

They're no tribble at all. 02:47, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Is this right?Edit

However, a single tribble brought aboard the USS Enterprise quickly multiplied to 1,771,561. Isn't that the same number Spock said were in the storage compartment on K7? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Jadzia Dax used the same formula to come up with that number on the Enterprise. -Nmajmani 13:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Nmajmani
Nmajmani, I must agree with whoever wrote the unsigned comment, unless you can show me proof (or at least let me know where you got your information from). I own the episode from the original series, Trouble with Tribbles, and as far as I can tell, the number 1,771,561 is the total number of tribbles that was on Deep Space Station K-7 at the time the Enterprise (NCC-1701) was "protecting" the shipment of grains to be sent to Sherman's Planet as calculated by Mr. Spock based on several assumptions regarding the tribbles, the amount of grain that was on the station, and the total storage space of the storage compartments. --TrekCaptainUSA 23:29, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

While on the station, the number of tribbles came up as follows:

Baris: "There must be thousands of them." Kirk: "Hundreds of thousands." Spock: "1,771,561. That's assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of ten, producing a new generation every 12 hours over a period of 3 days." Kirk: "And that's assuming they got here 3 days ago." Spock: "And allowing for the amount of grain consumed, and the volume of the storage compartment."

I did the math as follows:

First 12 hours: 1x10=10 (add the original back in) =11
Second 12 hours: 11x10=110 +11=121
Third 12 hours: 121x10=1210 +121=1,331
Fourth 12 hours: 1,331x10=13,310 +1,331=14,641
Fifth 12 hours: 14,641x10=146,410 +14,641=161,051
Sixth 12 hours: 161,051x10=1,610,510 +161,051=1,771,561

Taking into account Spock's first comment of the birth rate for tribbles, his estimation is accurate. This number did not account for grain consumed and the volume of the storage compartment. I believe Dax's estimation of how many tribbles were aboard the Enterprise was also accurate. You must remember, they did not eat just grain, but they were also in the food supplies of the Enterprise as well. It was when they realized they were getting in through vents that they went to K7 to check to food grains. --WMH

Quark and TribblesEdit

Quark's infested with tribbles

Not a happy Quark.

The tribbles on DS-9 may have been sold, since Quark was seen examining them, to sell them. 02:53, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

The look of Quark's face was not that of a Ferengi examining a product to sell. --OuroborosCobra talk 08:16, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Born pregnant for sure?Edit

Has it been established that tribbles are literally "born pregnant"? McCoy stated that they were "practically" (or "virtually") born pregnant, but not literally. Has this been stated elsewhere? Mal7798 13:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that they are born pregnant, because if I remember the quote correctly, McCoy said "As far as can tell, they're born pregnant". He seems to believe that either they are born with children, or that they are born with the capability to quickly produce children at the drop of a hat, and mind you, any hat. --Nmajmani 13:43, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Here's the exact quote:
  • MCCOY: "The nearest thing I can figure out is they're born pregnant, which seems to be quite a time saver."
  • KIRK: "I know, but really."
  • MCCOY: "And from my observations, it seems they're bisexual, reproducing at will. And, brother, have they got a lot of will."
--Jörg 13:48, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
After several paragraphs of discussion -- isn't it at least possible that tribbles can store spore or other reproductive material from previous generations over unusually long periods of time? in that way, they could be transexual or bisexual but still reproduce by conjugation of genetic material, producing diversity. -- Captain MKB 00:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Is there anywhere within canon Star Trek knowledge that specifically states the exact information about Tribble anatomy and other relevant biological information, including information about Tribble reproductive systems? If there isn't, then won't this "debate" about tribble reproduction just be left to speculation, and not be supported by solid evidence? On another note, I would personally stand by the statements made by McCoy in the original series, because as far as I know, there has not been a truly canon explanation of how exactly the tribble reproductive systems work apart from what was said by McCoy. --TrekCaptainUSA 02:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Total speculation, TCUSA -- but it is a theory that explains McCoy's comments as truthful -- If you notice the discussion a few sections up on this talk page, there was a suggestion that McCoy was mistaken or possibly joking, I'm just pointing out the simpler explanation than a joking statement is taking him at his word of tribbles being born pregnant, of variable/dual sexes, without the troublesome-to-accept-possibility of being asexual and inseminating themselves or dividing or something like that.
I think that there was some tribble literature seen on screen in Keiko's classroom, but not much of it was readable -- but some of the explanations for this that were being discussed above could be clarified by the details of that graphic -- it was published in an old Trek reference manual. -- Captain MKB 02:47, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Captainmike, I will agree with you that McCoy's remarks are probably speculative, but I don't believe my original question was answered: Is there any source within canon Star Trek that contradict's McCoy's observations/speculation? If there is, then we can rely on that, but if not, then the only other reference source to tribble biological data is McCoy's speculation, no?
On another note, Captainmike, I have a Star Trek encyclopedia, and I will look up tribble anatomy/biological information to see if I can find any additional proof to contradict McCoy's speculative remarks.
EDIT: I looked at the information on Tribbles, and could not contradict McCoy's remarks based on the information in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.--TrekCaptainUSA 01:43, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe Keiko's tribble diagram was derived from the late-1970s's Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual -- the reason the diagrams from that book were used is because the authors, Drexler & Mandel, were employed as DS9 production staff preparing the art for that set. -- Captain MKB 01:54, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

What you Leave BehindEdit

Miles O'Brien later recalled seeing the tribbles on the Enterprise with Julian Bashir when he was leaving Deep Space 9 at the end of the Dominion War. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

I don't remember this.--EnterpriserNX01 11:25, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Two QuestionsEdit

  • Is it still a spoiler now that the movie has been out for a month?
  • At some point can we get a picture of the tribble on Scotty's desk? No matter how many times I watch that scene I keep missing it. Must be looking in the wrong place.

-- DhaliaUnsung 15:33, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

I also cannot fin the Tribble on Scotty's desk in the 2009 movie and I have heard that it is there. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).
It's visible from the time you see Scotty to the time where he says "you eat like, a bean, and you're full". — Morder (talk) 03:54, January 11, 2010 (UTC)

Timeline change Edit

This seems like as good a place as any to talk about tribbles; I got the distinct impression from DS9 that the Klingons had (eventually) hunted the tribbles to extinction, and that they were reintroduced to the 24th century by the Defiant crew. So that would be a major change to the timeline... if it's true. 11:59, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

It is. That's what happened.--31dot 12:04, March 2, 2010 (UTC)
It's not even the first time a crew has gone back in time to save an extinct species. :) 05:07, March 10, 2011 (UTC)
Could just refer to extinction in the wild. Those in captivity may remain alive. I doubt the Klingons could raid every possible Federation research station and burn frozen/live samples. --LauraCC (talk) 18:35, April 17, 2015 (UTC)

Fractal Edit

Might this be worth a bg note? [1] --LauraCC (talk) 14:59, October 15, 2016 (UTC)

Scientific name Edit

Our article says that the scientific name for tribbles is polygeminus grex. I see that comes from a graphic in Keiko's classroom. Was it ever shown legibly on screen?

Anyway, in "The Trouble with Edward", the eponymous Edward (and an on-screen graphic) refer to them as tribleustes ventricosus. How do we deal with this conflict? Do we say that there were two scientific names for them? Or is this an indication that Larkin's tribbles were a different species than the ones about which Keiko was teaching? —Josiah Rowe (talk) 23:47, October 10, 2019 (UTC)

One could be the name for the unmodified version and the other for the modified one. JagoAndLitefoot (talk) 11:20, October 11, 2019 (UTC)
That's a good theory; there could also be different scientific names depending on the body/entity doing the naming. 31dot (talk) 13:29, October 11, 2019 (UTC)
At the very least, we've only directly heard the modified version referred to on screen by one name, and the unmodified by the other. JagoAndLitefoot (talk) 14:12, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

I’m not sure that’s accurate. Edward introduces the tribbles as a species he’s working on and describes them as having a low reproductive rate, which implies that he has not yet made the genetic modifications. We could hypothesize that there are at least three varieties of tribble: the originals (polygeminus grex), which reproduce once every 12 hours; the variety Edward was experimenting on (tribleustes ventricosus), which have a slow rate of reproduction; and his modified version, which seem to reproduce even more frequently than the tribbles we had seen before.

Or we could say that on-screen dialogue and legible graphics take precedence over graphics that were not legible on screen, but were later printed in a book. If we did that, we could just move polygeminus grex to the behind-the-scenes section. —Josiah Rowe (talk) 18:02, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

Correction: I just watched DS9: "The Nagus" and noticed that "polygeminus grex" is in fact legible in that episode. TrekCore has a screencap here that shows it. That said, I also see that MA:RESOURCE#Valid resources says that spoken dialogue takes precedence over visual material, so I suppose technically tribleustes ventricosus should override polygeminus grex; on the other hand, biological science does advance and occasionally scientific names for species do change. (Just recently, the name for the herb rosemary was changed from Rosmarinus officinalis to salvia rosmarinus.) So perhaps tribbles were referred to as tribleustes ventricosus in the 23rd century, but as polygeminus grex in the 24th. —Josiah Rowe (talk) 05:38, November 25, 2019 (UTC)

Best not to speculate in the article. Best to simply present the facts to the reader, making it clear where the two scientific names were used and letting the reader decide why they think there were two. --Defiant (talk) 06:08, November 25, 2019 (UTC)

Cabot Edit

My impression was that the Cabot crashlanded on the planet, not that the tribbles survived exposure to space and reentry. Scotty called it inhuman to beam tribbles into space; he wouldn't think that if they could survive. 31dot (talk) 00:35, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

The Cabot had "complete structural failure" which definitely sounds like it broke up in space. Anyway there could've been tribbles in escape pods or shuttles or sealed compartments that then crashed on the planet. -- UncertainError (talk) 05:36, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

That's what I was thinking, that some sealed area made it down to the planet and was probably burst open by the tribbles when it arrived. 31dot (talk) 10:44, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

Reconciliation Edit

Past tribble appearances suggested that their reproductive rate was natural, while The Trouble with Edward establishes that Larking engineered them to be that way, perhaps enhancing a high(but not disastrous) reproductive rate. We'll need to shake this out somehow. 31dot (talk) 11:00, October 11, 2019 (UTC)

Possibly Starfleet made the real origin of the modified tribbles top secret in order to avoid conflict with the Klingons, so everyone assumed it was a natural mutation? JagoAndLitefoot (talk) 14:13, October 11, 2019 (UTC)
Rather than working too hard to reconcile, I suggest keeping to listing the information in the context it was portrayed whenever possible. "Larkin indicated (observed, reported) the species had a low reproductive rate..." - AJ Halliwell (talk) 14:50, October 11, 2019 (UTC)
I agree that we should keep the speculative reconciliation to a minimum. But for what it’s worth, in "The Breach", Dr. Phlox says that tribbles "breed quite prodigiously," which would seem to contradict "The Trouble with Edward"'s apparent implication that tribbles' extraordinary rate of reproduction is all due to Larkin's interference.
One way to resolve that would be to say that Larkin was simply mistaken when he said that tribbles naturally have a low reproductive rate. His genetically modified tribbles seemed to reproduce even more rapidly than those seen later on the Enterprise and Space Station K-7. Perhaps he just hadn’t been feeding his original lot of tribbles, so they hadn’t been reproducing. After all, he was an idiot.—Josiah Rowe (talk) 18:14, October 11, 2019 (UTC)
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