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One of the reasons for the environmental masks was because it was believed an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere was poisonous to their kind. (Decipher module: Aliens) Most people believe they are fluorine breathers, requiring them to wear gas masks and protective suits in Earth-like environments. (TOS - Mere Anarchy eBook: The Darkness Drops Again) In fact, they mainly breathe oxygen, but (like Benzites) inhale fluorine-rich microorganisms, which they need as other humanoids need base minerals in their diets. (TOS novel: Ex Machina)
They were noted for being a gregarious people that were engaging by nature. Zaranites were fascinated by other races and enjoyed spending time with outsiders. This was partly because they liked to hear about different perspectives and philosophical conversations. Members of this species were often known to perform numerological readings where they told others their past, present and future. Numerology had a large part within Zaranite society to the point that it bordered on superstition. They were noted for being quite particular on numbers due to the complex system embraced by their kind. This went to such an extent that they did not board vessels with ill-chosen numbers and departed on journeys only on particular days or times. Ultimately, they were a peaceful people who had never experienced war in their history. (Decipher module: Aliens)
Zaranites were a hunting species with their civilization being based on elaborate hunting practices. In Zaran's harsh environment, there is no native industry or agriculture, only the hunt of predators, led by females, though Zaranites may also hunt their females. The females are known to have psionic powers for hunting, healing and mating, which enable them to attract males by arousing hormones in both sexes. The arousal of hormones means that a life-bond is formed between a couple. A bonded female is capable of making a joined mass-mind between members of a hunting group, and special hunting parties can form a greater mass-mind called "oneness", equivalent to a nation. (TOS novel: Triangle)
Their people practiced a form of predictive mathematics that allowed them to determine past and future events. In the wider galaxy, they often found work as theoretical mathematicians. It was this aspect of their society that led them to practice psychohistory. Such science was practiced to the point that it was effectively a religion within their civilization. As such, entire monasteries were given to this science where clerics formulated mathematical equations to predict an event. A more curious aspect of their culture was entire libraries being created that contained alternative histories that had been predicted by their mystics. (Decipher module: Aliens)
Zaranites have special necklaces symbolizing their social states and family relation. (TMP costume descriptions)
Zaranites were first encountered by humans in the 2070s, and soon came under control of a group known as the Totality, human fugitives from Earth's World War III, who used superior technology, eugenics and mental weapons to control them. The Zaranites used a special oneness-mind to fight back against the human oppression. (TOS novel: Triangle)
- The race called Zaranites from other sources may not be identical to the Zarans depicted in Triangle.
The Federation made diplomatic first contact with this race in 2257. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update) Their people had long predicted the arrival of the Federation who had arrived on the planet to negotiate for the mining of rich dilithium deposits. At the time, the Klingon Empire had also had an interest in the Zaranite homeworld but their people ultimately decided to side with the Federation after hearing both sides. This was because the Zaranites had predicted that Federation membership was more desirable and that their mystics had long predicted that eventually the Federation would become allies with the Klingons in the future. An attempt by a Klingon operative to assassinate the Zaranite Tattawanika was thwarted by Starfleet officers with this also being predicted by the Zaranite mystics. (Decipher module: Aliens)
Afterwards, the Zaranites requested and received protective status from the Federation Council. In time, they would join the United Federation of Planets as full members. (Decipher module: Aliens) As a Federation member, they had a delegation present during Earth's "Whalesong crisis". (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
By the 24th century, Zaranite weapons research was a valuable asset to Starfleet. However, petitions for an all-Zaranite starship crew were denied due to their belligerent tendencies. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
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