Turians are avian in their physique, but other than that their physical and mental attributes are little different from humans. They evolved a rough leathery skin to protect from the harsh solar radiation on their homeworld Palaven, but this skin provides no real protection from modern weapons.
All life on Palaven is based on dextro-amino acids, making them biologically incompatible with food, medicine, and other organic products from planets with biology based on levo-amino acids (such as Earth).
The turians are the most militaristic of the Citadel Council races; every turian citizen is expected to serve in the military at some point in their lives. Their government is a "hierarchal meritocracy"; turian citizens move up through tiers of responsibility and privilege as determined by the assessment of their superiors. There are 37 tiers of turian citizenship, the highest being the Primarchs, each of which governs a colonial cluster and votes on matters of national importance.
The Turian Hierarchy is known to have client races, among the most notable being the volus.
The turians joined the Citadel Council after the Krogan Rebellions. As the krogan were fighting and winning against the salarians and asari, they stumbled upon turian space. The krogan immediately tried to conquer the turians, but the turians proved resilient and turned the tide of the war. In the end though, the turians resorted to releasing the genophage biological weapon developed by the salarians to severely limit the krogan birth rate.
A millenium later, the turians would be the first alien race to make contact with the human government, the Systems Alliance, resulting in a brief war. After the initial hostility, the turians worked together with the Systems Alliance on joint military projects, such as the prototype stealth frigate SSV Normandy SR-1.
- Garrus Vakarian
- Saren Arterius
The Turian Hierarchy is ostensibly the most powerful Council faction in Mass Effect, only rivaled by the Systems Alliance. Treaties in Mass Effect limit the amount of dreadnoughts other factions can build relative to the turians. As a result, the turians have the largest number of dreadnoughts (39) of the Citadel races.