In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Jem'Hadar are the shock troops of the powerful Dominion located in the Gamma Quadrant. Genetically engineered for strength and resolve, they are also short-lived and believe that "victory is life." They are bred to perceive the Founders, enigmatic shape-shifters who rule the massive Dominion, as gods, and are incapable of harming them. The Jem'Hadar's numbers are unknown, but they are produced by the thousands as needed.
Conceived as "more than just another fearsome alien", the Deep Space Nine makeup department searched for concepts depicting "toughness and resiliency" in the design of the Jem'Hadar. The final design was based on a rhinoceros, with some added ceratopian traits. Originally designed on the premise that they were all clones, the first Jem'Hadar seen onscreen were all made to look identical to one another, though as they became more deeply woven into the storylines, each Jem'Hadar was given a distinctive look.
It is unknown if a base species was genetically altered into the Jem'Hadar (as is the case with their Vorta overseers) or whether they were completely designed by the Founders.
Jem'Hadar are born in "birthing pods." As there is no individual reproduction, the Jem'Hadar are all male. After emerging from the birthing pod, the Jem'Hadar grows rapidly and is a battle-ready young adult in three days. They are bred without the need to eat, sleep, rest, relax or to pursue recreation, though during their growth periods they must consume massive quantities of food. The Jem'Hadar are also bred for proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, having an extremely tough and strong physique, with leathery, lizard-like skin. Jem'Hadar have a personal cloaking capability they call "shrouding". According to Deep Space Nine episode "The Abandoned", this ability is a part of their integrated biology - in the DS9 episodes "Hippocratic Oath" and "Rocks and Shoals", Jem'Hadar who are suffering from Ketracel White withdrawal lose their ability to shroud.
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