Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Durant [#632]
Physical DescriptionDurants are ant-like Pokémon with iron gray bodies, six black legs, and a large set of pincers in front of their mouths. They have red eyes with black iris, and two antennae that both have a bulb-like structure on the end. Rarely, Durants will be born with a more red, rust colored exoskeleton and green eyes.
Notable BiologyThe Exoskeleton of a Durant is composed almost entirely of metal. The particular type of metal depends what types of metal deposits can be found near their nest. Durants are notable for being the fastest of pokemon to incorporate metal into their bodies. Durant's pincers are very powerful, easily capable of crushing rock, shearing off chunks of metal from a deposit, or severely injuring an intruder. They are also used as a sort of shovel to dig through softer materials like dirt and sand. Durants make extensive use of pheromones to communicate. All tunnels and caverns in a nest will have pheromone markings to designate the purpose of the cavern or where the tunnel leads or if it is a dead end and should ignored. They also leave pheromone marking in the foothill around their mountain, as a way of warding off other Durants. All Durants leaving the nest for whatever reason also leave a pheromone trial behind them, both as a means of easily finding their way back, and also as a defensive mechanism. Should anything threaten the Durants outside the nest, they can “ignite” their pheromone trail, causing a chain reaction in the pheromones leading back to the nest, warning the other Durants of danger. Finally, pheromones are also used for identification purposes: every nest of Durants has a certain pheromone associated with it, and this pheromone is also added to all other pheromone trails. For more information, see Social Structure. Durants have an amazing sense of geo-location. This is thanks to the bulb like structures on the end of their antennae, which are very sensitive to vibrations. In order to scan an area underground, a Durant will slam its head against the rock, then hold it’s antennae up against the rock to feel the vibrations from the slam. Doing this, a Durant can easily sense many things about the surrounding environment, such as the density and composition of nearby rocks, if there’s an underground lake/river nearby, caverns or gas pockets, and especially metal deposits.
HabitatDurants make intricate, twisting nests inside mountains. An average nest contains about 1000 Durants, though extremely large nests with numbers approaching 3000 have been recorded. Durants looking to found a new nest will typically send scouts out to nearby mountains to dig exploratory tunnels. While digging these tunnels, the scout Durants will be frequently scanning the surrounding rocks via the geo-location. The goal is to find a mountain with a metal deposit near it. Once the scouts report back, the mountain with the biggest metal deposit is chosen as the new nest, and digging begins. Should none of the mountains have metal near them, the group of Durants will continue scouting other mountains until they find one that does have metal near it and is unoccupied. A new nest is considered fully established once it reaches the 500 Durants mark.
DietDurants are omnivores, though they prefer meat. Durants leave the nests in groups of 5-6 to scavenge/hunt for food, with a mix of both worker and soldier Durants. Pokémon killed in defense of the nest are also consumed. They also ingest large amounts of metals to provide for their exoskeletons. Durants get this metal both from metal deposits that they find, and also from cannibalizing dead Durants. Durants in captivity need to be fed a special type of Pokémon food rich in iron. Additionally, chunks of metal can be provided as treats.
HazardsDurants have an instinctive drive to dig, so unless you want your yard turned into a warren of tunnels, it is of utmost importance to try to rein in this instinct in captured Durants. Also, Durants love to eat metal. If you have metal items in your house, it is best to make sure your Durant understands that they are not food for it. Durants in the wild are best left alone, as where there’s one Durant, there’s likely more Durants nearby. If you wish to capture one, the safest method is to do it quickly and get out; the Durant likely ignited its pheromone trail as soon as it was engaged, so there’s only so much time before others arrive as Durants are very quick to mobilize in response to threats. Should you find yourself engaged with a Durant, there are two main methods of attack to watch out for. First, the same head slam technique Durants use for geo-location can also be used to devastating effect against living targets. Second, and most obviously, their pincers can be utilized for a number of different cutting and crushing attacks. Your best bet in combat is a strong fire type Pokémon, as Durants are extremely vulnerable to fire. As mentioned before, however, the safest thing to do is leave them alone in the first place.
Social StructureDurants are divided into 3 main groups: soldiers, workers, and the queen. The defining trait that determines what group a Durant belongs to is its behavior. Soldier Durants are characterized by fighting all the more fiercely when they are hurt. Worker Durants are much harder-working in general then the soldiers, but also much less precise in their actions. Very rarely, an extremely lethargic Durant will be born. They do about half as much work as the other Durants. Lethargic females are made queen because since they cannot work or fight; breeding is all that’s left for them to do. There can be multiple lethargic females per nest, though only one of them will ever be the queen. When the current queen dies, the eldest of the remaining lethargic females will becomes the new queen. Lethargic males, on the other hand, are kicked out of the nest, most likely to meet their end in the wild. When a Durant nest gets too crowded, the youngest lethargic female and retinue of about 60 workers/soldiers will leave the nest to found a new nest of their own. See Habitat for more info. Durants from different colonies are generally hostile with each other. The only exception to this is if the nest in question is a direct offshoot of the other nest, in which case the Durants will simply avoid each other. As mentioned in Notable Biology, every nest of Durants has a certain identification pheromone, and this identification pheromone is included in all pheromone trails lefts by Durants from that nest. Should Durants come across the pheromone trail of a rival Durant nest, they will avoid the area. However, if they should actually come across some rival Durants, a fight is very likely.
Courting and ChildrearingA queen Durant's only job is to mate with other Durant and lay eggs. A typical queen Durant will lay 6-10 eggs per day, though they can quadruple those number in case of an event severely diminishing nest strength or if they are establishing a new nest. The Queen has her choice of males to mate with, with preferences seeming to vary from queen to queen. Once the eggs are laid, a worker transports them to a chamber just for holding eggs. The eggs take about a day to hatch. Freshly hatched Durants have very thin exoskeletons, and are moved to another new chamber where they are fed large amounts of metals to help thicken their exoskeleton. They stay here for about 2 days before they’re considered old enough to join the workforce. A well established Durant nest will typically have 4-5 other lethargic females besides the queen. Their job is to watch over the growing Durants and observe their behavior so they can decide what positions the young Durants should be assigned to.
In Human SocietyThere is a popular Durant simulation game called Sim Durant. In this game, the player takes control of a Durant from a Durant nest and performs various tasks such as foraging, digging, and defending the nest. Threats to the player include a rival Durant nest and a single, roaming Heatmor. In the industrial sector, Durants are both a blessing and a bane to the Unovan mining industry. They are a blessing as their ability to both easily locate metals and then dig their way to them make them invaluable companions to miners. They are a bane because a metal deposit already claimed by a Durant nest is effectively unavailable for human use, as it’s simply too difficult to clear out an established Durant nest. There are strict regulations on taking Durants outside of Unova. This is due to the belief that, should a Durant colony become established in another region, it would severely disrupt the local ecosystems. Durants, while often seen as pests, are somewhat admired by humans for their industriousness and social tendencies. At least a couple of animated films have been made where they are the main characters.