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Alien Species

Tribble

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Tribble
Kirk surrounded by Tribbles
General Information
Universe Star Trek Universe
Homeworld Iota Geminorum IV
Height 4-5 inches
Diet Herbivore (Presumed)
Sapience Level Very low if any (Presumed)
Tribble crossection

The inner workings of a Tribble

Tribbles (Polygeminus grex) are small, non-intelligent lifeforms originating from Iota Geminorum IV. Known for their prodigious reproductive rate, these round, furry creatures emit cooing sounds while touched, which have a tranquilizing effect on the Human nervous system. Born pregnant, with sufficient food a single tribble can quickly increase its number exponentially through presumably asexual reproduction, bearing an average litter of ten every twelve hours. On their homeworld, tribble populations are kept in check by a large number of reptilian predators. (DS9: "The Nagus"; TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

The homeworld and scientific name of the tribbles appeared on the chart in Keiko O'Brien's classroom on Deep Space 9. Tribbles were first encountered by Humans in the early 2150s, when Denobulan doctor Phlox brought a small number aboard Enterprise NX-01 as food for his pets. (ENT: "The Breach")

The tribble was later encountered by the Federation aboard Deep Space K-7 in 2268, when Cyrano Jones brought a small number aboard to trade. However, a single tribble brought aboard the USS Enterprise quickly multiplied to 1,771,561. The tribbles were instrumental in foiling a Klingon plan to poison a shipment of quadrotriticale intended for Sherman's Planet, when tribbles that had fed on the grain were found dead. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

At the same time, the crew of USS Defiant, transported through time by Arne Darvin, prevented him from using a tricobalt device hidden inside a tribble to kill James T. Kirk. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

Tribbles were an ecological menace for the Klingons, to whom a tribble would react violently. The Klingons first attempted to breed a predator to eliminate the threat. The glommer was used only once, in 2269, aboard the USS Enterprise, and proved unable to deal with the large number of tribbles aboard. (TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles")

During this time, Cyrano Jones attempted to genetically engineer the tribbles so that they could not reproduce. As a result of his dabbling, he deemed them to be "safe" so as to be compatible with humanoid ecologies, making them "great pets and profitable, too." Unknown to Jones, at the time, and as was later discovered by Doctor Leonard McCoy, Jones' genetic engineering was described as being "very slipshod," as the resulting tribbles appeared to grow in immense size, in place of rapid breeding. McCoy later discovered that the so-called "giant tribbles" really were not as they appeared, but rather colonies of tribbles. McCoy was able to remedy the situation by giving them "a simple shot" of neoethylene, which caused the tribble colonies to break down into their individual units with a slower metabolic rate, and finally becoming "safe tribbles". (TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles")

The Klingons' final solution to the tribble menace was to wipe the species out entirely. Klingon warriors were sent to hunt them down throughout the galaxy, and the tribble homeworld was obliterated in the late 23rd century. When told of this, Odo dryly remarked "another glorious chapter in Klingon history. Tell me, do they still sing songs of the Great Tribble Hunt?" (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

In spite of the destruction of their homeworld, many humans continued to have the small creatures as pets from late 23rd century, well into the late 24th century, as several children aboard the USS Enterprise-D appeared to have them as pets in 2364 and 2371. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek Generations)

Tribblesgraphic2CGenerations

Tribble information

Information about tribbles was displayed by the computer in Keiko O'Brien's schoolroom on Deep Space 9 in 2369. (DS9: "A Man Alone", "The Nagus") Tribbles were displayed in an LCARS graphic in one of the USS Enterprise-D's science laboratories when the ship crash-landed on Veridian III in 2371. (Star Trek Generations)

DS9 Promenade infested with tribbles

DS9 Promenade

Tribbles were reintroduced into the 24th century when Captain Benjamin Sisko and his crew brought at least one of the creatures back to 2373, following a time-traveling visit to the tribble-infested space station K-7 of 2268. The promenade and Quark's bar on Deep Space 9 were subsequently overrun with the creatures. According to Captain Sisko, the Federation's Department of Temporal Investigations was not told about the reintroduction of the tribbles because "they didn't ask". (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

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")

ReferencesEdit

This article uses information from Memory Alpha.

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