Beastfolk, archaically known as Betmer, is the collective term used to refer to bestial races. Drastically different, culturally and physiologically from men and mer, the Beastfolk possess different skeletal structures, and metabolic processes (even amongst themselves). While rumors of interbreeding with men and mer exist, none have been proven.
Beastfolk come in a variety of colors and body structures, and are not sub-species of the same proto-race like men and mer. Included in this are the Khajiit and Argonians. The Hist are a race of trees from which the Argonians may have descended.
Etymology and usageEdit
The term "Beastfolk" is used more pervasively than "Betmer". The word "Betmer", in Aldmeris, translates to "Beast Elf", "Bet-" being the prefix for beast and "-mer" being the common suffix for elvish races. But as these races are not related to the elves in any way this term is now deemed as wrong. The proper term now used is "Beastfolk" or "Beast race" as these races are their own race.
Vvardenfell savant, Okan-Shei, professed that Betmeri, or "Beastmen", were the aboriginal inhabitants of Tamriel. Each bestial race reports differently in Mythic Era history, before the human and meri invasions. 
The origins of Beastfolk, unlike mer and men, vary from race to race. Though the Beastfolk were the first inhabitants of Tamriel, they did not create written records until the empire of Tiber Septim, making it difficult to determine how long the Beastmen were on Tamriel before the first mer.
The most significant difference between the beastfolk and the other races is physical, with far more differences than between men and mer. Races of beastfolk are also far more different from one another than any two races of men or mer. 
No official information about their lifespans has been released.
Tamrielic beast racesEdit
- Main article: Argonian
The Argonians are a race of reptilian creatures, native to Black Marsh, the Argonians are highly resistant to disease and can breathe underwater. Argonians are the only race on Tamriel that are completely unrelated to men and mer, having descended from separate race called the Hist. Argonians possess tails, the only race besides the Khajiit to do so. When swimming they use their tails to propel themselves as they glide through the water like a fish. Both male and female Argonians exhibit sexual qualities similar to men and mer, but no well-documented cross-breed offspring have been discovered, possibly because Argonians are egg-layers. 
- Main article: Khajiit
The Khajiit are a feline race native to Elsweyr, with inherent nocturnal vision and pointed ears that have led some to believe their phylum contains mer blood. The "breed" of each Khajit is determined by the position of the moon during their birth; there are supposedly more than 20 breeds of Khajiit, but only 17 have been verified. The most common breed is the Cathay. Khajiit are known for their natural agility, stealth and fondness for moon sugar/skooma. Khajiit typically refer to themselves in the third person. 
- Main article: Goblins
Goblins are small but tough two-legged creatures found in Cyrodiil. They are a bit shorter in size than the average mer. Goblins have blue- or green-hued skin, and bulbous eyes. Most goblins are part of a goblin clan that congregates around a certain location, particularly caves and mines, but they also may be found living in sewers or various ruins. They are thought to have been extinct since the Third Era. It has been suggested that Goblins are not sapient. This is not necessarily true, however, as there is much evidence of animal domestication and social structure with ranks among those in a particular group.
- Main article: Riekling
Rieklings are small goblin-like creatures found on the island of Solstheim. They tend to live in small tribes in caves, ancient ruins and even mountain peaks. They are hostile in nature, but individually pose little threat. They typically rely on strength in numbers and a small group can quickly overwhelm an enemy. Riekling settlements give insight into their level of intelligence, which corresponds roughly to a stone age society: they have developed simple tool-crafting and elements of rudimentary language and religion, and have domesticated Bristleback, which they raise for food and use as mounts. Characteristics of Riekling religion include the "Godspeak Song" and the construction of shrines, but there do not appear to be any shamans or other religious leaders. At least one Riekling is known to have learned to speak intelligently.
- Main article: Giant
Giants are a race of gargantuan humanoids found in the wilderness of Skyrim and High Rock. Infamous for their colossal height of eleven to twelve feet and immense strength, giants share little civil interaction with humanoids, if in fact any. Culturally, giants herd Mammoths, processing their milk into cheese, complementing their omnivorous diet with the cooked meat of skeever. Seemingly nomadic, giants travel with their herds, setting up camps across Skyrim and High Rock. Invaders are attacked with the massive clubs forged by the giants that look like they have been made out of tree trunks and large rocks. Their physical similarities with Orcs — jutting lower canines, tapered ears and the presence of stumpy horns on the temples (much diminished in giants) — serve as possible evidence of some loose relation to the mer.
- Main article: Nymph
Nymphs are a mysterious and rare race that resides on the continent of Tamriel. All of the species seem to be female and are described as beautiful, naked women who like to have indiscriminate sex by the common folk and even scholars. 
- Main article: Imga
The Great Apes, or Imga, reside in the Imperial province of Valenwood and idolize the Altmer of the Summerset Isles, with some going so far as to shave themselves and powder their skin so as to better emulate their appearance.
- Main article: Lilmothiit
Other beast racesEdit
- Main article: Sload
For millennia, these hulking, slug like creatures, notorious for their necromantic mastery, terrorized the Altmer, conjuring sea monsters along the coast and laying siege to Skywatch. They are said to operate airships, and to live on the semi-submerged continent of Thras. It is unknown exactly how Sload reproduce. Adult Sload have never been seen to involve themselves in such things, and seemingly have no interest in the fate of the young. Sload begin their lives as "disgusting little amorphous grubs". As they age, these grow into a purely aquatic stage that is described as "soft", "squishy" and "octopus-like". Upon reaching adulthood the Sload becomes amphibious and have an appearance similar to a large slug.  
- Main article: Tsaesci
Even though the Tsaesci are the best known of Akavir's inhabitants, very little is known about them, and much of it is contradictory or cryptic. Within the current lore of Tamriel, there are two quite different depictions of the Tsaesci. Some evidence seems to indicate that they are humans. Other evidence, however, paints a much stranger picture, as vampiric snake-like creatures that feed on humans. To date, there has not been sufficient evidence gathered to conclusively prove or disprove either, or both, of these depictions. Early depictions of the Tsaesci almost invariably describe them as having the upper body of a man but the lower body of a snake. The most direct evidence of these "snake folk" comes from Mysterious Akavir, which claims that the vampire snakes of Tsaesci ate all of the humans that once lived on Akavir. The reputability of this book is frequently questioned, however, as few of its other claims have been independently verified.
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Okan-Shei.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Notes on Racial Phylogeny
- ↑ Provinces of Tamriel
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Black Marsh
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Elsweyr Confederacy
- ↑ A Scholar's Guide to Nymphs
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Aldmeri Dominion
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Thras
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Wild Regions
- ↑ Mysterious Akavir
|Humans||Atmoran • Breton • Imperial • Keptu • Kothringi • Nede • Nord • Orma • Redguard|
|Mer||Aldmer • Altmer • Ayleid • Bosmer • Chimer • Dunmer • Dwemer • Lefthanded Elf • Maormer • Orsimer • Snow Elf|
|Beast||Argonian • Imga • Khajiit • Lilmothiit • Sload|
|Akaviri||Ka Po' Tun • Kamal • Tang Mo • Tsaesci • Dragon|
|Et'Ada||Aedra • Daedra|
|Other||Atronach • Giant • Goblin|