Pokémon Evolution is Weird, but Pokémon Adaptation Makes Some Sense
Using Isle of Armor’s Galarian Slowpoke as a model for adaptive radiation
Charles Darwin furthered science in a big way back in the 1800’s with his field-defining work in evolution. But none of his published papers mention Pidgey evolving into Pidgeotto at level 18, or Pikachu into Raichu using a thunder stone. Satoshi Taijiri decided to take a few liberties with the science behind evolution when he first worked on Pokémon Red & Blue, but the new regional forms that have been dropping into the lineups are textbook examples of adaptive radiation.
Adaptive radiation occurs when a single species rapidly diversifies into different forms in response to unique environmental factors. One of the best-known examples of this can be found in Darwin’s finches — a group of 17 birds, none of which are actual finches but okay.
The group’s common ancestor is believed to have inhabited the Galapagos Islands some 2–3 million years ago. The bird adapted and evolved into multiple species with unique break shapes suited for different food sources. This allows them to occupy different ecological niches and thrive, unobstructed by direct competition with each other for the same food.
Similarly, Pokémon with Galarian or Alolan forms must have existed as a single organism before adapting to their different environments. A common ancestor of Slowpoke seems to have evolved into two distinct species, each with unique physiological traits suited for their diet. Kantonian Slowpoke is a Water-Psychic type that fishes with its strong tail, the tip of which secretes a sweet scent that helps attract prey (despite not having Sweet Scent in its moveset). Galarian Slowpoke debuted in Pokémon Sword & Shield boasting a bright yellow head and tail as a result of its Galarica seed-heavy diet. This diet keeps Slowpoke away from fishing, evolving to have a weaker tail and no water typing. Both Slowpoke are able to exist in different ecological niches because of unique diets and behaviors, just like Darwin’s finches.
-a mcflyy joint
Slowpoke is a pink Pokémon that resembles a cross between a salamander and a hippopotamus. It has vacant eyes that…
POKÉMON SWORD EXPANSION PASS AND POKÉMON SHIELD EXPANSION PASS TO LAUNCH IN 2020 WITH TWO SETS OF…
Bellevue, WA-January 9, 2020- Today, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced new downloadable content…
Evolution of Darwin's finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing
Darwin's finches, inhabiting the Galápagos archipelago and Cocos Island, constitute an iconic model for studies of…
Effect of diet on the structure of animal personality
There is increasing interest in the proximate factors that underpin individual variation in suites of correlated…