Species native to the planet Kaminar, a world that had a very binary structure of life: creatures were either predators or prey. Kelpiens were hunted, bred, and farmed by the Ba’ul on their native world, and thus evolved “threat ganglia,” a biological warning system whenever there was a nearby threat. Kelpiens, when pursued by predators, have been known to exceed speeds of eighty kilometers per hour. They can also sense predators from as much as ten kilometers away. Their eyes also have larger optical windows than those that humans possess, and are attuned to the ultraviolet spectrum, capable of viewing every being’s heat signature. Kelpiens, being largely agrarian and not advanced technologically at all, were a race therefore covered by General Order One (the “Prime Directive”) until Saru, who was a very special case. He was the first of the species to become a member of Starfleet.

Mirror Universe

Kelpiens were slaves in the mirror universe and served as delicacies to honored guests.