The Proteans are a race of unusual beings native to the planet Nathas I, in the Questal Sector. In their natural state, Proteans resemble man-sized blobs of protoplasmic clay. They live in small groups of five to ten individuals. They consume their food by surrounding it with their bodies and absorbing it through their skin. Individual Proteans have the ability to mold themselves into different shapes and can alter their coloration, and use their ability to change shape to capture their prey. The average intelligence of a Protean is quite low, although they have the ability to learn simple concepts and commands. Their homeworld is almost airless, forcing the Proteans to develop methods of absorbing oxygen through their skin. They can also survive in hard vacuum for short periods of time, and have just four senses: sight, touch, hearing, and chemical. They reproduce when two individuals combine their structures into a single, stone-like ball, and remain in this configuration for a standard year. When the ball cracks open, the original pair emerges with a new child.