Pet Humans

Homo parvus

Clade Parvus (legal)
Image from Arik

Pet humans are a human subspecies created as pets or toys; most are highly neotenous and remain cute and childlike for their entire lives. Lifespan varies depending on modifications and implants, although in general it is significantly shorter than baseline (20-50 years). Neurocognitive development in Homo parvus has been engineered for limited sentience, language faculties, and intelligence. Basic social instincts, including empathy are nearly always present, however the result is a clade no more sophont than ancient domestic animals.

Some pet human species have features that make them more adorable to the owner species. Examples include the dolphin-human pets bred by the various hybrid farms of Hwii that include elements of both human and dolphin children as well as amphibiousness, or the cybernetic children of Fata Morgana that are intended as AI/vec pets and are equipped with AI subsystems.

It is unknown when the first pet humans were designed; some historians suggest a prototype batch were vat-grown as early as the First Federation, others claim Homo parvus was a fusion of virtual pet designs in the late Expansion era that were then engenerated. Regardless of the exact date various pet human species have been developed in a variety of systems.

The practice should not be confused with using baseline humans as pets. Homo parvus are born as they are, and have no capacity to form a tool using civilisation. However, the wild former pet humans on Kaumbrey (Euterbia II, Olumbi region in the NoCoZo) show that occasionally pet humans can survive on their own.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg, Ryan_B
Initially published on 04 August 2000.