! Shieldon Line

!! Morphs [Oak Catalog #]

* Shieldon [410]
* Bastiodon [411]

!! Notable Biology

Shieldon and Bastiodon were once widespread herbivorous quadrupeds- fossils of them have been found across the nation. However, the line was rendered extinct some 70 million years ago, after a cataclysmic meteor strike. Only recently have scientists managed to recreate this line, and it was not long before they became one of the more popular Pokémon among the devoted Trainer community, more and more wealthy or lucky trainers using them in competitive Gym or League battles.

Shieldon are small reptilian quadrupeds. Their most distinguishing feature would be the large, raised crest that adorns their head. This crest is actually hollow- it is primarily cartilaginous and quite bendable, to ensure that a young or inexperienced animal does not accidentally wedge itself between two trees. Shieldon are quite playful, and males spend much of their time playfully charging or mock-charging targets in order to practice for their important mating rituals when they grow up. Still emotionally immature at this stage, they enjoy physical contact and petting.

Bastiodon are enormous, heavyset creatures. Content to spend most of their day sleeping or eating, they are nevertheless a potent opponent in a battle. Their head, crest, and mouth are ringed with large, heavy spikes, presenting an almost impenetrable surface. Their head frill has ossified, and is now flushed with blood vessels. This frill is not primarily for defense, but is instead used for courtship purposes. Nevertheless, they are a formidable opponent in battle, and are capable of trampling most foes into the ground or goring them with their fearsome array of horns.

!! Habitat

In their native time period, Bastiodon and Shieldon were widely dispersed, and fossils can be found in many countries. Approximately 750 Sheildon and Bastiodon are alive today. Most of these live in a large preserve designed for reanimated Pokémon (see Cranidos entry for details), although about 100 are currently being cared for by Trainers or Gym leaders.

!! Diet

Both animals are primarily herbivorous. Bastiodon may also ingest small pebbles to help with digestion, grinding down soft plant matter within the stomach. However, evidence suggests that Bastiodon may have occasionally preyed upon Grass-type Pokémon, still a relatively new breed of Pokémon at the time. One famous fossil depicts the skeleton of a bull Bastiodon and what appears to be a mature Tangrowth locked in combat, even as they sunk into a pit of volcanic mud, where they were quickly suffocated yet exquisitely preserved. This famous fossil was excavated years before the development of tissue regeneration technologies, and at the time it proved to be an exciting find indeed. This fossil can be seen today at the Pewter City Museum.

!! Hazards

Like most extinct Pokémon, Shieldon and Bastiodon are not well adjusted to today's world. Their immune systems are not used to modern day pathogens and viruses, and even simple ailments like the flu or the common cold can potentially kill a full-grown Bastiodon. The environment of 65 million years ago too was different. In addition to far warmer temperatures, oxygen levels were higher than they were today. As such, a Shieldon or Bastiodon will constantly be gasping for oxygen, something that will worry their Trainer. It is not recommended to use them for too long in cool climates- they will swiftly become sluggish and disoriented.

Male Shieldon can prove to be very energetic. An affectionate tackle can seriously wind a trainer or even injure or kill some smaller, more fragile Pokémon such as Roselia. An agitated or angered Bastiodon is easily capable of killing a human, and several, when provoked for long enough, have. Like other large, extinct Pokémon, it is also not recommended to enter them in events such as Contests- they are disturbed by flashing lights, loud crowds, and enclosed spaces. Like many other fossil Pokémon, they also lack the instinctive sense of restraint when it comes to battles. They will often view the opponent as a legitimate threat, and react accordingly- unfortunately, this sometimes results in the death of the opponent's Pokémon. Such an event occurred in the 201X Sinnoh League Championship, when a Bastiodon, alarmed and enraged beyond control, successfully killed an opponent's Charmeleon before breaking free of the stadium. Fortunately, a Pokémon Ranger in the crowd had a Venusaur and Swampert on hand, and he managed to subdue the animal long enough for it to be returned to it's Pokéball. Few trainers would be able to successfully train a fully-grown Bastiodon. The most prominent trainer to successfully handle one is Byron, leader of the Canalave City Gym.

!! Courting and Childrearing

Every six months, female Bastiodon will enter reproductive readiness. At this time, males will face off against one another for mating rights. This involves the males flushing blood into their crests, swelling them and displaying a dazzling display of patterns. Occasionally, two males will compete in non-lethal shoving matches. Several months later, females will lay eggs in the forest. The eggs are buried in soft soil, and the mothers will stand guard over them, fiercely protecting them from any real or imaginary threat (including curious biologists!). Several weeks later, the clutches of young Shieldon will hatch, and the exhausted newborns must dig themselves out, without the help of their mother. After they are safely above ground, the mother will lead her new children back into the herd. Shieldon grow quickly, and within four years most will evolve into Bastiodon.

!! Social Structure

From what researchers have witnessed, Bastiodon form large herds led by one or more senior males. These herds can be very large and all of them follow a similar layout- the largest and strongest male Bastiodon are located on the outside, females and the elderly are closer to the middle, and Shieldon in the middle. Biologists theorize that this allows mothers to keep track of their children and to keep them safe from predators.