The Ferengi are a Humanoid species 
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resident in the alpha quadrant of the galaxy. First contacted by the Federation in 2364, the Ferengi where found to follow the common Humanoid pattern  - evidence that they share a common ancestry with the species which seeded many planets across the galaxy several billion years ago.  The Ferengi tend to be approximately 165 cm tall, and their most distinctive feature is a set of very pronounced ears.  These are among the most sensitive of any known species,  as well as being one of the major Ferengi erogenous zones. 
The current Ferengi culture dates back some ten thousand years  - it was at this time that Gint came to power. The first of the Ferengi world leaders - called the Grand Nagus - Gint codified a set of two hundred and eighty five 'Rules of Acquisition', a code of honour by which all Ferengi males are expected to live.  The rules of acquisition heavily emphasise the accumulation of personal wealth, although some rules relate to general ethics.  All Ferengi males are expected to memorise the rules at an early age. 
Although they are capable of building powerful warships, the Ferengi are not a major military power in the alpha quadrant as they rarely become involved in open conflict except as arms suppliers - usually to both sides.  Nevertheless, there have been several skirmishes between the Federation and the Ferengi - most notably in 2355 when a Ferengi vessel wrecked the USS Stargazer.  Open contact was established when the USS Enterprise-D encountered a Ferengi D'Kora class vessel which had stolen a power system from a Federation outpost.  Since this time relations have remained generally cordial, although individual Ferengi have several times made raids on Federation vessels.  Little trade occurs between the Ferengi and the Federation, as the latter's ethical trading policies frequently clash with Ferengi philosophy. The Ferengi have remained neutral during the Dominion war.
In 2375 Grand Nagus Zek finally retired, appointing Rom as the new Grand Nagus in his place.  Rom's leadership is widely expected to usher in a new liberal age for the Ferengi.
The Borg designation for the Ferengi is Species 180.