race from David Brin
sci-fi series of novels. Glavers are four-limbed creatures around a metre tall, with opalescent skin and large, bulging eyes. They have limited bipedal capacity; however, they generally walk on all fours. Their forelegs function as rudimentary hands, but are clumsy and unsuited for any task more complicated than grasping a stick or handle. Instead, the glavers' primary organ of manipulation is their prehensile tail, using its forked end to tackle more subtle tasks. However, the tail is weak in musculature, and so a use remains for the strong, clumsy forelegs, to tackle any heavy task the glaver requires done.
Glavers are capable of eating and digesting both plant matter and small insects, but are incapable of digesting meat. As this would indicate, glavers have no canine teeth. They also lack incisors, relying entirely on crushing food matter between their large molars.
The glavers were Uplifted by the Tunuctyur. The real talent of the glaver race lies in an aptitude for communicating with hydrogen-breathing entities, who are an enigma to most oxy-species of the Five Galaxies. For many years, glavers earned their collective living and status as diplomats, negotiating between oxygen breathers and hydrogen breathers lifeforms. However, at some point in their past, the glaver species incurred a terrible debt with the Zang, the most powerful of the hydro-species, a debt far too great to pay off with property or service. The cause for the debt is unknown; but the magnitude is well reputed. In payment, the Zang took the only things the glavers had left to offer: themselves.
Glavers are one of the exile races on Jijo. However, unlike the others, glavers have devolved to a pre-sapient state, following the holy Path of Redemption outlined by the Scrolls of Jijo. The glavers no longer take part in any of the affairs of the other races of Jijo, but are still capable of limited speech, in some Galactic tongues. The other races see the glavers devolution as a shining example to them all, and the orthodox belief of the Six Races of Jijo is that devolution of this kind is the eventual goal for all of them.