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Salarians are one of the council species in Mass-Effect. Some of them have some kind of bottle opener shaped handle on theirs chest:

Captain Kirrahe Dr. Palon

This feature doesn't seem motivated by any biological appendages:

A nude Salarian

Does it have any purpose, or is it just decoration?

  • I wondered this myself. Same with Turians and the helmet thing behind their heads. – OghmaOsiris Jun 1 '12 at 18:45
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    @OghmaOsiris for Turians, it look motivated by physiology. masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Turian#Biology – DavRob60 Jun 1 '12 at 18:56
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    I am going out on a limb here and saying it is some sort of clothing... – Naftali aka Neal Jun 1 '12 at 19:25
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    Maybe it's a hook for hanging the suit up? – Chris B. Behrens Jun 1 '12 at 20:21
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    I always thought of that arc as some kind of strut to keep the arms/shoulders from hanging/moving forward when trying to carry heavier stuff. Completely out of my mind and no source or anything for that though. – Mario Jun 3 '12 at 20:03
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According to this interview of Matt Rhodes - Associate Art Director, this is purely cosmetic. Salarians wear such clothes so they do not stand out among other races, with their sunken chest.

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I would bet decoration, possibly with some gender or social display meaning. Almost all salarians wear clothing that either emphasizes the chest ridge (bottle opener style) or it draws the lines of the outfit to the chest ridge either in an straight bar (Commander Rentola, Captain Kirrahe, Captain Kirrahe) or an bracketing pattern (Chorban, Ish, Schells).

A couple of possible explanations:

  • An anatomical vulnerability. It seems most of the bar pattern are evident in armor, so it is possible that the ridge is a place where a minor injury can to major damage.
  • A mating display of some kind. Because of their shortened life spans they need some way to indicate sexual availability quickly and succinctly. Perhaps the Bracketing pattern expressing availability and the bar and bottle opener style expressing the opposite.
  • A fashion trend. It could jut be that one major salarian fashion designer takes cues forom the open vest styling of Han Solo, and another takes inspiration from old human Power Girl comics.
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  • check this : Due to their method of reproduction, salarians have no concept of romantic love, sexual attraction, or the biological impulses and social rituals that complicate other species' lives. Male-female relationships are rare (due to the scarcity of females) and more akin to human friendship. Sexuality is strictly for the purpose of reproduction. – DavRob60 Jul 11 '12 at 22:32
  • Then having a fashion that indicates availability for reproduction would speed things up considerably. – Tyson of the Northwest Jul 19 '12 at 19:16
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    Well, as per the same link "Fertilization generally only occurs after months of negotiation between the parents' clans, and is done for purposes of political and dynastic alliance. No salarian would imagine defying this code.". Several allusion to this are made about this in the games, like with the Salarian's Bachelor Party in "Private" Lounge of the Eternity and the Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data assignment. – DavRob60 Jul 19 '12 at 19:35

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