Star Trek Species Designations Explained: What Are Species 2000, 3783 & 5008?

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As one of the most popular sci-fi shows ever, Star Trek has one of the most expansive universes ever created on-screen. Many species have been introduced over the years, often seen cataloged with a unique species designation number. So, what are the species designation numbers, and what are species 2000, 3783, and 5008?

Species designation numbers are commonly associated with the Borg race, believed to be their way of distinguishing species by giving them a new number as they encountered each new species. Species 2000, 3783, and 5008 are among those species, being the Cardassians, the Romulans, and the Klingons, respectively.

While the explanation of how the Borg designates numbers to a certain species seems quite straightforward, some deviations may mean there’s more to the numbering system than meets the eye. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about the matter.

How do the species designation numbers work?

Star Trek species designations are a numerical system developed by the Borg species to identify all other species they encountered. Over the years, we learned the species designation number of several dozen species in canon and non-canon Star Trek. So, how does the Borg species designate the numbers to other species?

While it was never explicitly said or confirmed, it’s widely believed that the designations are chronological, following a distinct pattern. Each new species that the Borg encounters gets a number, and each next species gets one number higher.

That rule is consistent through Star Trek canon, although some deviations exist. For instance, the Ferengi species from the Alpha Quadrant have a very low number (Species 180), despite having met the Borg a while later.

So, perhaps a single poor Ferengi wandered, got lost, and then met the Borg – ergo, the smaller number – or perhaps the Borg has a different way of designating the numbers than chronological order.

Either way, the Borg never reuses the species numbers, even after a species is extinct or assimilated. The Borg doesn’t reproduce biologically – they assimilate entire species instead and use maturation chambers to have younger specimens grow up.

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What are species 2000, 3783, and 5008?

Now, as we mentioned, some numbers are given in non-canon Star Trek work but are still considered correct. For instance, species 2000, 2783, and 5008 all appeared in Star Trek but were given their numbers non-canonically. Here’s an explanation about every one of those species.

Species 2000: Cardassians

star trek cardassians

The Cardassians are a species that first appeared in Star Trek: TNG decades ago. We’ve seen their species designation number (along with the other two species we’ll talk about here) through a Star Trek voyager screensaver.

Cardassians were a humanoid species living on Cardassia Prime, a planet located within the Alpha Quadrant. They are known to be extremely ruthless, even xenophobic, and quickly became great enemies of the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets by joining the Dominion.

Due to their unique appearance, the Cardassians were mockingly called ‘spoon heads.’ The species is warp-capable and fairly intelligent, although their technology was somewhat inferior to that of the Federation.

Species 3783: Romulans

star trek romulans

The Romulans are a well-known species in Star Trek. They were a humanoid race living on the planet Romulus, revolving around the Romulan sun. Their appearance is similar to the Vulcans (Spock’s species) because they were biological cousins.

The Romulan Star Empire became one of the most powerful forces of the 24th century, but after the Romulan sun was destroyed, the empire was now the Romulan Free State. A while later, the Vulcans and the Romulans reunited and were reunified, living together on Vulcan (later renamed into Ni’Var).

Essentially, the Romulans and the Vulcans separated after the Romulans rejected Surak’s reforms and moved from the planet Vulcan after a war. Their subtle differences started deviating over the years, and the two species remained similar, yet very different. Most notably, the Romulans lacked the mental discipline the Vulcans possessed.

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Species 5008: Klingons

star trek klingons

Lastly, the Klingons might be the most well-known Star Trek species of all – other than the Humans. They were a warrior humanoid species from the planet Kronos (spelled Qo’nos), located in the Beta Quadrant.

Klingons were a traditional, powerful species with an aggressive culture and way of life. Their vision of honor lay in combat and warfare, which is why the Klingons were one of the most feared military forces in the universe.

The Klingons have quite a unique, distinctive appearance and physiology. They had a unique trait known as brak’lul, a natural organ redundancy. For instance, Klingons had three lungs, two livers, and multiple stomachs, allowing them to survive very serious injuries in battle.

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