The Tralthans (physiological classification FGLI) are a sapient spacefaring race of bulky elephantine beings from the planet Traltha, which live in symbiosis with a small lifeform classified as OTSB.
Tralthans walk on six short legs ending in spongy feet and also have a number of tentacles used for manipulation only. They also have four eyes. Because of the position of their eyes, they find it more comfortable to stare at the ceiling than at the floor. While Tralthans themselves are warm-blooded oxygen breathers, the symbiote's classification suggests it is a chloride breather, which would be very weird, since chloride is toxic for oxygen breathers and vice-versa. Though sapient, the symbiote cannot lose physical contact with its host for more than a few minutes, otherwise resulting in severe mental damage.
Tralthans are nearly universally regarded as the best doctors in the galaxy, and are one of the three major races of the Galactic Union, along with Earth Humans and Illensans. Tralthan parasites have a cluster of wire thin eyes and several sucker-tipped super-sensitive tentacles which are used to enhance the host's senses by sending it infinitely detailed visual and sensorial information of its surroundings. After sending this info, the symbiote receives instructions on where to look next based on the data.
Tralthans are herbivorous and abhore the idea of eating meat.
- Sector General by James White