Best of both worldsEdit
The Iktal are a biological/technological hybrid, utilizing brute, animal-like force and aggression coupled with mental, technical augmentation. They fall into the category of 'cyborgs' and can operate independently as needed, but also respond to remote, wireless commands.
The Iktal were specifically designed to live a maximum of 3 years. The logic behind this was to necessitate the development of mass production of Iktal on a continual basis. Large stockpiles of soldiers could, therefore, not be obtained and numbers would have to be maintained through production alone.
It was theorized that production numbers only would be able to combat the Wraith, given the large number of Iktal casualties that would result when the war would begin. Romulus and Remus needed a continual steady supply, thus their lifespans were scaled back to accomodate this combat philosophy.
If not killed in combat, an Iktal will essentially 'shut down' upon reaching a specified timeframe. All biological functions cease within a matter of minutes, upon which time the computer components deactivate and self destruct internally, so as to keep their functionality secret should an Iktal corpse fall into enemy hands.
When death occurs in battle, similar component self destruction occurs.