The Nijians are a race of intelligent, amphibious humanoids which inhabited the warmer areas of Gavin VIII. They hatched from eggs that were laid by elder Nijians and guarded by Nijian youths until they emerge, starting out life as air-breathing beings which resemble human children. At the age of twenty, all Nijians underwent a transformation - known as the Changing Ceremony - in which they metamorphosed to become an amphibious creature. The metamorphosis could only take place in a ceremonial pool on Gavin 8, and involved the Nijian changing into a mermaid-like creature that was destined to live out its life in the pools of Gavin 8. Their legs merged to form a fish-like tail, and they grew gills on their ribcages. As newborn children, and as newly-transformed adults, the Nijians consumed trico mush until they could digest the silver-backed fish. As a people, the Nijians were unassuming unless provoked, which often happened when a traveler was stranded on Gavin 8. The Nijians valued their privacy, and chose to remain anonymous to the rest of the galaxy. If provoked, Nijians could prove to be skilled hunters, and used their natural ability to move about in the water to track and kill their enemies.