Turians hail from the planet Palaven and typically stand over six feet tall with a set of mandibles around their mouths. They have two long, proportionately thick fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand tipped with talons. They have a metallic carapace which contains trace amounts of thulium, a trait that evolved as a defense against the greater levels of solar radiation that penetrate their homeworld's weak magnetic field. Their forward-facing eyes give the impression that they possess outstanding eyesight and their teeth and jaws mimic the structures possessed by apex predators.
The turian lifespan is comparable to that of humans and their is little difference in physical appearance between males and females except for the female's lack of the crest found on the males. Turians are viviparous, giving birth to live young and turian blood has a dark blue colouration. Their voices have a distinctive flanging effect. Life on Palaven is carbon-based and oxygen-breathing, but it is built on dextro-amino acids. This means the food of humans, asari, or salarians (who evolved in levo-amino acid-based biospheres) will at best pass through turian systems without providing any nutrition. At worst, it will trigger an allergic reaction that can be fatal if not immediately treated.
Turian's are known for their militaristic and disciplined culture, particularly their contributions of soldiers and starships to the Citadel Fleet. Turians have a strong sense of public service and it is rare to find one who puts his needs ahead of the group. They normally wear elaborate tattoos marking their colony of origin, though it is not known which markings distinguish which colony or if color has any meaning. The lack of facial markings is looked down upon in turian society; the turian term "barefaced" refers to one who is beguiling or not to be trusted.