Tellarites, from the Terran perspective, are often consider slightly porcine (“pig-like”), particularly in having a snout and being hirsuite and stout by comparison to the human norm. They are often shorter than the human average, this comes from Tellar being a higher gravity planet than Terra (1.13g of Earth). Tellarite who grow up on worlds with lighter (to Tellarites) gravity tend to be taller and a little less stout. There appears to be some racial/ethnic variation among Tellarites, primarily in terms of facial features and hair. In addition, their lower jaws usually hold a pair of short tusks, but these vary from barely visible to quite prominent.
Tellarite body temperature runs hotter than humans and they prefer a warmer ambient temperature than most humans. Their blood is purple due to the presence of hemerythrins in their blood which increase their blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity. As a general rule, Tellarites are considered extremely durable, resistant to gravity stress, and able to survive a punishing amount of physical damage before their body shuts down.
Tellarites have only very slight sexual dimorphism, male and female Tellarites being surprisingly close in weight and build to each other.
The Tellarite culture was shaped by the difficult environment of their homeworld, as one wag put it “A difficult world led to a difficult culture.” The Tellarites believe in testing things to make sure they work and can survive, this makes them argumentative by default. And the things they test are not just physical objects but systems and beliefs. They hold Socrates’ dictum of “the unexamined life is not worth living” as their highest truth, though from an outsider’s perspective, the Tellarite tendency to argue may make it seem more like “the unchallenged idea is not worth holding”.
This concept of testing to destruction of everything has left them with a minimal state and a highly fractious but exceedingly democratic government. For Tellarites, politics are a type of entertainment and they enjoy the cut and thrust of political debate as one of the best ways to spend an evening. Though, in general, they will argue over just about anything just for the enjoyment of the argument itself. Indeed, they so enjoy a good argument, and they even consider it a kind of sport and watching debates is a prime form of entertainment on Tellar.
Tellarite culture has conditioned them to look beyond what something does, to wanting to know why it does that. This may be why they are such good engineers, being culturally primed to seek out why and how things work.
This is not to say their culture is purely focused on argument and discovery. There is also a rich musical culture, such as Tellarite slop jazz, which includes flizz bop and modal skuzz, which is sometimes compared to skuzz blues.
The Tellarites had achieved warp-capable starflight by the mid-20th century (Terran reckoning) and slowly expanded in their local area. They worked peacefully with the Vulcans when they encountered them but clashed with the Andorian Empire which expanded into undeclared war by the early 22nd century. Intervention by the Terrans brought about a temporary peace which in turn became an alliance against the Romulan Star Empire and the formation of the Federation of Planets, with Tellar as a founding member in 2161.
Tellarite merchants and colonists followed the expanding Federation but at a much slower pace than Terrans, though Tellarite free traders are still a common sight.
Proposed Post-War History
Tellar avoided any attacks during the Dominion War but reactivated some of its old defensive fleet just as a precaution after the fall of Betazed. Tellar Prime became a hub for Federation resupply and logistics supporting the war effort through its industrial production and shipping. In many ways, this sudden return to prominence within the UFP revitalized the Tellarite commitment to the Federation and the years following saw Tellarites applying to Starfleet in record numbers.
For a race that was part of the founding of the Federation, there is not a lot of canon information on the Tellarites or their home world.