Maru physiology varies significantly due to their heavy use of genetic engineering. There are purists among the Maru who do not believe that the Maru should be mucking about with their own genetic makeup. These groups are the only reason [[Terran’s]] know what Maru originally looked like.
Maru are invertebrates. Their bodies are incredibly malleable and durable, like a squid they can squeeze through incredibly small openings. The have two dexterous tentacles used as main limbs, and four less dexterous tentacles used to stand on and for mobility.
Maru possess both lungs and gills. Their skin requires moisturization, their colonies and ship are kept at fairly high humidity.
The Maru have a unique brain arrangement. They possess a fore and hind brain. The hind brain is not capable of higher functions, but is responsible for all autonomous life function, respiration, digestion, etc. The fore brain is responsible for higher thought and consciousness. There is an interface between the two for shared function. The two brain arrangement allows for the Maru to replace sleep with rest periods, where the hind brain puts the Maru body into a state of rest but the fore brain remains active.
One common Maru genetic engineering feat is an interface at the back of their head that connects to the pathway between the fore and hind brains. This allows them to interface with their ships, vehicles, and technology.
Bio-scooping is a process that strips a section of a planet of organic life, “digests” the organic material (which is an organic method for separating the non-organic from the organic, and reducing the organic to “raw organic material”).
Raw organic material is akin to primordial ooze, that through manipulation the Maru can use as medium to grow into whatever organism they’ve designed.
Maru don’t scoop inhabited planets. The Maru will identify a planet in a zone capable of supporting life. Use a piece of technology called a genesis sphere, which is a form of terraforming. The sphere plants the seeds of life and will bring the planet to the point of primitive life, suitable for bio-scooping. The Terrans were one case where a race had stumbled upon one of their bio-scoop planets. There have been other misunderstandings in their history.
Maru ships are organic, which allows them to heal minor injuries. This however, requires raw organic material to both power, and repair the ship.
The Maru grow their technology. Their weapons use a bio-power-cell, which converts that energy into bio-lasers. The power cells require raw organic material to operate.