Falchira Mating Habits and Practices
Falchira mating is a complicated topic and an intellectually interesting one and an area of academic study. Typically in intelligent species several different breeding strategies are observed: Humans and Vesh who are examples of the mammalian and give birth to live young, Kyneth and Tsathi who are ovoviviparous and gestate young internally for a short time before laying an egg and several other strategies of note; the Nurath for example must first commingle mentally before physical sex can even occur, and then select which parent carries the offspring, and both ‘males’ and ‘females’ can nurture a young life form within an amniotic sac. Among these solutions the Falchira are somewhat unique; other naturally eusocial species, such as the Aun of the Grand Biopolity are often ovoviviparous or oviparous, but the Falchira are not. Falchira gestate their offspring in the same way a mammalian species would, but the gestation period is a little longer, and much much more fecund.
A single conception can create between eight and twelve offspring at once, predominantly female. These offspring are usually a litter and most often are mono-zygotic. This creates an exceptional number of what, in other species, would be called twins, as many Falchira are almost physically indistinguishable in their natural state. The babies are born quite small by other races standards, weighing in on average at one kilogram. Due to the lack of bone structures in a Falchira, the amniotic sac and uterus are capable of considerable expansion without pain for the female, however this expansion does render it impossible for them to properly shape shift and indeed, in extreme cases, can lead to inability to walk for the last stages of the pregnancy. The largest recorded number of delivered Falchira offspring all living and without problems was performed by the experienced and legendary Lady Myralla Lansur known as the Great Mother, who successfully carried to term twenty four Falchira offspring from three fathers simultaneously.
Since huge births are common to the Falchira, and Falchira females in peak reproductive capacity (namely within the Matriarch role with all hormonal glands fully functioning) rapidly recover from carrying babies with little effort, with no seeming equivalent to post-partum depression or other stresses on the mother. All Falchira females, even sexually non-functional ones are capable of producing lactates, and are triggered to doing so by their Matriarchs pheromones during the pregnancy; thus Falchira offspring can and are cared for rapidly by entire prides with no extra effort from the Matriarch; the burden of care is shared. Males in this system are essentially drones from a reproductive stand point; an as yet unanswered question surrounds if this relative freedom from the core part of the cycle is the reason Falchira males became culturally adapted to fulfil certain socio-political roles, such as that of the negotiator.
It is often a misconception that Falchira females and males left alone for long enough will be biologically forced to have sex. This is based on the idea that Falchira pheromones are capable of overriding the conscious decisions of the Falchira they effect. This is not in fact the case; the pheromones largely alter the internal biochemistry and make reproductive mating a more appealing activity to engage in, encouraging but not overriding the minds of the individuals affected. Among non-mating-active the signals simply don’t exist for them. This means that, likewise, Falchira are one of the few races that can be said to have almost no history at all of sexual violence, with only the Nurath beating them on that particular metric (as they are physiologically incapable of sexual violence among their own kind). In the Falchira case, sexual violence is rare to vanishing and is almost always caused by Matriarchs against drones or plebeians, as matriarchs have considerable socio-political power within the Unity. members of the Falchira population, asexual behaviour predominates, as the hormones and pheromones are suppressed.
~ Federation Xeno-biology and Xeno-anthropolgy Initiative report on non Federation Species and polities.