Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyDratini is a curious species of ophidian Pokémon with a life-cycle similar to some newts. The base stage is a thick, six-foot long blue serpent with a white underbelly; it grows continuously throughout its life, moulting repeatedly until it reaches sexual maturity. Dratini possesses a prominent white nose and, upon cursory examination, appears to lack a mouth; the orifice is in fact hidden beneath folds of skin that close seamlessly, hence the illusion that there is no mouth. In addition, this morph is notable for a silver nub between its large red eyes, and for its finlike ears that propel it through water. It possesses a bizarre dual-respiratory system that allows it to remain underwater indefinitely and still breathe on the surface, but it must periodically return to the water to moisturize its skin or it will die of dehydration. Dragonair is very similar to the previous stage, but is more than twice as long and far more slender in appearance. The fins have now become a small pair of feathered wings which, despite all appearances to the contrary, allow Dragonair to fly. In addition, the nub on Dratini’s forehead has grown into a short horn, and a sapphire pearl has formed beneath Dragonair’s chin. Two similar orbs are found at the tip of its tail. The exact purpose of these orbs is unknown, but the prevailing theory amongst the scientific community is that they are utilized to help Dragonair control the weather. Recent studies have shown that this power is a highly specialized form of psychokinesis, allowing Dragonair to subtly alter air currents to disperse storms or conjure tornados, and this "aerokinesis" may in fact be the source of the Pokemon's seemingly inexplicable flight. Dragonite is radically different from either of its previous morphs, being a large, bipedal reptile resembling a child’s depiction of a dragon. It is orange with tan-coloured belly scales and teal wing membranes. The horn it possessed as Dragonair has migrated to the top of its head, and it now has an overt mouth. Dragonite is shorter but far stouter than Dragonair, and despite its bulk, Dragonite is incredibly agile while airborne, due primarily to internal helium sacs and a hollow skeletal structure; how it produces or acquires this helium is a mystery. A common misconception holds that particularly healthy specimens can circumnavigate the globe in as little as sixteen hours; while this is almost certainly an exaggeration, Dragonite are amazingly swift flyers with impressive endurance, being slightly behind Garchomp in maximum airspeed and equal to Farfetch'd in power flying. Two antennae jut from either side of the horn; these can detect minute shifts in temperature and air pressure, allowing Dragonite to anticipate the distribution of storms and air currents and react accordingly. Finally, the aerokinetic powers which it possessed as Dragonair have atrophied, in that it is no longer able to create or disperse storms. It has been observed by many as having a very high intelligence, and many legends persist of them rescuing sailors in difficulty. There also seems to be strange links between Dragonite and the legendary beast Lugia: both are fondly regarded as "guardians of the sea" and they appear to share similar abilities. These combined characteristics had biologists baffled as to how they should classify Dratini; furthermore, while it initially appeared to be a water Pokemon, a cursory study of its type resistances revealed that it possessed a weakness to extreme cold and a resistance to electricity, which no water Pokemon could have without being some mutant with three or more types. As a result, biologists were forced to create a fifteenth type in order to classify it, making Dratini the first discovered dragon-type Pokemon.
HabitatDratini is an elusive Pokémon in the wild, owing largely to their low birthrate, incredible longevity, and near-extermination by hunters in recent prehistory; as such, Dratini was long believed to be a mythical creature akin to the Bunyip or the plesiosaurus until a small colony of the creatures was discovered near what would become the Safari Zone. Today, Dratini is found only in warm ponds and riverbeds, where they spend their time sifting through the silt in search of food. The creature has been successfully introduced to Johto and the warmer parts of Sinnoh, but cannot survive in Orre, as the arid nation lacks enough standing water to support a Dratini colony. Upon maturing into Dragonair, they become too large for their birth-ponds to support them and so set out to sea. Crossing the land poses no difficulty, as this serpentine Pokémon can fly despite lacking any wings (other than its ears, but they should not be able to provide the lift and thrust necessary to propel a thirteen-foot long snake through the air). Dragonair that take up residence in the ocean often lair in coral reefs while sleeping, coming up to the surface only to hunt and breed. Dragonite are so rare in the wild and move so quickly that determining what environment they prefer is nigh-impossible; the prevailing theory is that they roost on an uncharted island somewhere south of the Sevii Islands and the Orange Archipelago. Alternatively, as they retain their dual-respiratory system, it is possible that Dragonite slumbers on the abyssal plain, where the immense pressure would kill almost any other life form. However, since both Lugia and Milotic do the same thing and Dragonite has never been seen with either, this idea is slowly losing popularity. Another theory has been provided for the habitat of Dragonite recently. With the discovery of all three morphs in the lake surrounding Unova's Dragonspiral Tower, it is now theorized that Dragonite can live just about anywhere there is a large lake and where temperatures are reasonable.
DietAlthough they lack visible mouths, Dratini are, without question, apex predators. They swim slowly through the water until they locate an edible creature, and then send out a weak electrical shock to paralyze it and prevent escape. Once they have actually reached their victim, they ensnare it within their coils and squeeze the life out of it before swallowing it whole. Krabby, Goldeen and Magikarp are their most common prey. As Dragonair, the species becomes much faster and therefore much more active, and its ability to fly means that it is no longer limited to aquatic prey. Dragonair uses its speed and aerokinetic powers to stagger and confuse prey while bludgeoning them to death with its powerful tail, before crushing and ingesting the victim in much the same manner as Dratini. They typically target smaller animals than themselves, like Seaking, Slowpoke, and Gorebyss, but will occasionally go after larger targets such as Slowbro or Croconaw. Thankfully, they tend to avoid humans unless provoked. Dragonite are almost entirely piscivorous, swooping out of the sky to snatch up fish. This is not difficult for them at all, and they can spot a fish from ten miles away. They have also been known to simply open their mouths and ingest entire flocks of Wingull on the fly.
HazardsDratini and its evolutions are ordinarily docile and leery of humans, and as such they usually present no risk. That said, they have the power to control the weather; provoking them is not a good idea. Even Dratini has limited aerokinetic powers, which, while not strong enough to pick up a human being, are certainly capable of snatching up sticks and stones in a small cyclone and hurling them with enough force to break every bone in the human body. Dratini and Dragonair can also wield mighty elemental powers, and they can deliver astonishingly strong physical attacks. Also, trainers must take care to instill restraint in their Dratini, as a happy Dratini is still a large constrictor, and they have been known to severely injure or kill their owners with an overenthusiastic display of affection. While Dragonite does not have the weather-controlling abilities of its previous morphs, it does have great physical power (even more so than its previous forms,) with limbs and wings capable of delivering truly punishing blows. Its elemental powers are nothing to scoff at either, being stronger than those of its previous two morphs.
CourtingThe species is known to breed during the Dragonair stage, congregating every forty years over the pools where they were born. The female deposits a single egg for the male to fertilize. Both parents brood the egg, moving it around to ensure that it maintains a warm temperature and to protect it from predators. Once the egg hatches, the parents depart, going their separate ways as they return to the sea. Dragonite have never been observed breeding in the wild or in captivity, although it is theorized that it is possible for them to do so. Alternatively, the Dragonite phase may be the equivalent of a middle-aged or elderly human, and thus no longer capable of reproduction.
Social StructureDratini have been proven to exist mainly in small colonies of around 20 individuals, although whether this is natural behaviour or is simply a result of smaller breeding grounds is not known. Regardless, they do appear to live in harmony with one another, with little rivalry shown. Dragonair, on the other hand, once they have reached their ocean phase, seem to be mainly solitary animals. This may be a survival mechanism, as it would be difficult for a group of animals of such large size to find sufficient food, and Dragonair have no natural predators aside from humans (which they are quite capable of dealing with on their own). They do, however, come together to breed, and are remarkably faithful parents to the unhatched egg, although most scientists agree that monogamy seems unlikely. Dragonair seem have little to no interaction with their offspring. Precious little is known about Dragonite's social structure, if there even is one. A rumour persists that there is an island (perhaps somewhere in the Sevii or Orange Islands) where the beasts go to roost, but if one exists, it has never been found. Dragonite have also been seen together surrounding Dragonspiral Tower, however this is not unusual behaviour for many seemingly-solitary Dragon-type Pokémon.
Written by Sullen Frog, with grammatical corrections and contributions to the Physical Descriptions section by Luigifan.