Dwarfs are the smallest members of any species. Dwarfism is a genetic condition that causes the growth of bones and other body parts to be disproportionately short. People with dwarfism usually grow to 4 feet 10 inches or shorter.
Most people with dwarfism have normal life expectancies and can live active lives. They may need medical care from doctors who specialize in a variety of areas, including orthopedics, neurosurgery, ENT and pulmonology, as well as specialists in skeletal dysplasia. Some conditions that cause dwarfism are detected in early pregnancy by X-ray or ultrasound, while others may be diagnosed during a person’s lifetime.
While a dwarf’s appearance is generally the result of a genetic mutation, there are other types of dwarfism that can be caused by nutritional issues or traumatic injuries. There are 14 known types of dwarfism, including achondroplasia, which affects the bones of the hands and feet (often causing them to be shorter than normal). These are inherited, meaning if one parent has achondroplasia, they are at risk of having children with it.
Most dwarves are lawful, believing firmly in the benefits of a well-ordered society. They also tend to be generous and friendly. They are often portrayed as characters who appear in fairy tales, novels and movies, where they are often depicted as a race apart and have special moral or aesthetic significance. The characters are typically portrayed as short, but can have a variety of body shapes and skin, eye and hair colors.