Humans

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Human
Taxonomy: urestu hurises
Habitat: Plains
Avg. height: 5.7 ft. / 175 cm
Population: 600 million
Verdurian: uestu

Humans are an intelligent species found throughout Almea. Evolutionarily, they are hominids, closely related to flaids and more distantly to elcari, múrtani, and icëlani.

Almean humans are not identical to terrestrial humans— indeed, genetically, there is no relation at all; Almean DNA does not even work the same way ours does. Some obvious differences: uestî in general have flatter noses and ears, larger eyes, wider feet with just four toes, less bodily hair, and no philtrum (the indentation in our upper lip). The musculature is different, with more surface fat. Women’s breasts are small by Western standards; males’ penises have no glans or foreskin. Due perhaps to their aquatic heritage, uestî have a very poor sense of smell, but in compensation a finer sense of taste, and sufficient sensitivity to small movements and vibrations of air that an Almean blind person can walk unaided without stumbling.

They are less well adapted than we are to dry or cold conditions, and can’t last as long without water; for this reason mountains are usually left to the elcari, and deserts left uninhabited. On the other hand, they are more resistant to damp and humidity— just as well, since Almea is a slightly warmer planet than Earth.

A more subtle difference between the looks of uestî and terrestrial humans is that, as can be seen below, few of the major Almean races look exactly like any of the major terrestrial races, and vice versa, so that most Almeans would probably look to most people from Earth, and most people from Earth would probably look to most Almeans, as if they had an unusual if not impossible form of ethnically mixed ancestry.

In addition, Almeans have a wider range of skin colors than terrestrial humans, due to having a third type of skin pigment (cyanomelanin) in addition to analogs of the dark brown eumelanin and reddish pheomelanin that Earth humans possess, giving some Almeans a definitely alien look, with blue, gray, or greenish skin. Eye color is also more varied among Almeans than among Earth humans (with the exception of people of European descent); blue eyes may be found even among the Nanese.

Terminology

Where it’s desired to emphasize the difference, the Almean species can be called by the Verdurian term uestu, plural uestî.

In Almeological studies we call the uestî 'humans' because they are quite similar to terrestrial humans both in appearance, psychology, and behavior, and because they are the dominant (land-based) Thinking Kind on Almea. The few contacts between the planets reinforced this: e.g. the Elenicoi accepted Almean humans as beings like themselves, even taking local wives (though the unions were infertile).

Etymology: Cuêzi eîca; Caď. urestu, Ver. uestu, Bar. irêch, Ismaîn ŕeşti; Keb. neḣat, Ax. gumuri, X. xumaur; Wede:i de:igu; Old Skourene mandim; Tžuro jeja 'mortal'; lɔtɛ 'woman-man'; Uyseʔ yet; Munkhâshi jôtil 'worshipper', Dhekhnami dzoshiw; Flaidish luuk; Elkarîl dduch 'sellers'.

Races

There are eight widely recognized human races; see the referenced article for details. The image gallery below will give an idea of racial variation among humans.