! Cranidos Line
!! Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
* Cranidos [#408]
* Rampardos [#409]
!! Notable Biology
A Pokémon line thought to be almost 90 million years old, the previously-extinct Cranidos line has recently been revived thanks to advances in tissue regeneration technology. Bipedal reptilians, their most distinctive feature is the "skullcap" that can be found in both Pokémon. This skullcap is a thick layer of ossified cartilage that surrounds the upper cranium. In the mature form, the Rampardos, the skullcap is larger and adorned by a sharp set of horns. Both animals are bipeds and balance with the help of a long, muscular tail. They are surprisingly swift, and individuals have been clocked at almost 68 km an hour.
There are roughly 400 re-animated Cranidos and Rampardos alive today. Approximately 100 of those are in the care of Trainers and Gym leaders across the nation. About 250 of them are kept in a spacious preserve for revived Pokémon, along with a sizeable herd of Bastiodon. This preserve is funded and run by a coalition of paleontologists and biologists- esteemed Sinnoh biologist Professor Rowan and Oreburgh Gym Leader Roark, to name a few. This preserve is a hotbed of scientific acctivity, and even the famed Professor Oak has made the journey to view and research these creatures. The last 50 or so are on loan to various Professors and universities around the world for research purposes.
It was once believed that Cranidos and Rampardos were purely carnivorous. After widespread resurrections and the creation of a funded preserve, it was discovered that Cranidos and Rampardos are generally herbivorous. However, this error was so [[PopculturalOsmosis ingrained into the pop culture consciousness]] that it persisted in many books and documents, including the V4.1 Pokédex. That being said, it is not unknown for them to occasionally pursue other Pokémon to obtain protein. Tests conducted in captivity have indicated that Rampardos are preferential to Yanmega meat, suggesting that the two species may have once coexisted.
In their natural time period, deciduous trees, flowers, and most plants we would recognize were rare, Cranidos and Rampardos subside mostly on ferns, cycads, and conifers. Attempts to ingest most modern flora will lead to intestinal discomfort, vomiting, and sever flatulence and diarrhea. The cost of proper food can prove to be quite expensive.
Unless diligently cared for, Cranidos and Rampardos do not fare well in today's world. Like most other extinct Pokémon, they are very susceptible to diseases that other Pokémon would shrug off. Even simple ailments like the common cold can potentially spell death for a Cranidos. It is also believed that there was more oxygen in the air 90 million years ago; as such, it is not uncommon for a Cranidos or Rampardos to be constantly wheezing for air, something that will no doubt upset and worry a caring Trainer. It is also not recommended to use them in cool climates- prolonged exposure to cold weather will render them sluggish and torpid, and potentially lead to death. In addition to their many environmental discomforts, the line is very uncomfortable in cities, towns, or most man-made structures. Some are even afraid of simple technology- a few will refuse to enter a Pokéball or even go near one. Unfortunately, these discomforts tend to manifest themselves with a blind panic and aggressive behaviour. They are wary of people who are not their primary caretakers and may bite or otherwise attack anyone who they feel uneasy around. It is not recommended to enter them in a Contest. Camera flashes and large, noisy crowds disturb them, as do cramped spaces. The last such incident ended with an alarmed, crazed Rampardos breaking free of its Trainer's control and severely injuring a judge, as well as attempting to kill another Trainer's Glameow.
In addition to this, several ethics groups have questioned the ethics of using extinct Pokémon in battle. (See the Anorith entry for more details.)
!! Courting and Childrearing
Before resurrections were common, it was once believed that Rampardos would hold impromptu headbutting matches in order to win mates. However, structural analysis of the Rampardos body plan shows that such an impact against another dense skull would most likely crush the neck and spinal cord and leave it paralyzed. From what researchers have seen, Rampardos instead have "shouting contests", in order to win mates. Two or more males vocalize with loud, croaking songs. Females seem to be attracted to males that sing the loudest melodies. This behaviour is sometimes accompanied by blood vessels expanding in the head, flushing it a bright red.
Researchers have sometimes seen baby Cranidos, though exactly how parents build and tend to their nests is still unknown, as none have been seen doing this. Female Rampardos get very agitated when others approach their nests, and as such their childrearing is still mostly a mystery.
!! Social Structure
Rampardos and Cranidos live in loose herds of up to twenty. From field observations on the preserves where they live, they widely disperse during the daytime to find food, usually only coming together at night to sleep. It is believed that this behaviour served as a defense against predators.
[-Written by Crow T. Robot.-]