The Pavuleans are a species described in Surface Detail. They have a high level of technology and evolved from a herd animal species on the planet Pavul. They number in the hundreds of billions, and live on many planets and habitats around multiple other suns. These other planets are referred to as the 'Outlyings'.
Pavuleans are metre and a half-long hooved quadrupeds with large round heads. They have furred pelts and tails. Their faces have small twin trunks side by side, which are prehensile probosces with little lobes at the tips resembling stubby fingers.
Pavulean Society is traditionally conservative, retaining commerce and a religious, philosophical way of life called Collective Wisdom. Although they have an advanced society technologically, they prefer to retain control of their decision making, conducting a senate style government rather than letting AI machine minds do most of this work, as in the Culture. Pavulean herd thinking results in a slowness to change tradition, and a centering of their government on the planet Pavul, with the 'Outlying' citizens having little representation in government. Although it is controversial in Pavulean Society, the Pavuleans have a virtual afterlife 'Hell' run covertly by the conservative religious establishment. The torturers or punishers in this 'Hell' are monstrous representations of the now extinct predator animals that used to prey on the '15 Herds' of Pavul.
Because Pavuleans evolved as herd animals, in a predominantly flat grassland environment, they find heights distressing, commonly experiencing vertigo. Their large buildings generally take the form of gently sloping ziggurats, (rather than skyscrapers for example) because of this. Psychologically, they also find solitude distressing or difficult, preferring to sleep communally.