Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyThe stem is made of miniature canals of muscle and tendril, bound together at even intervals by rings of cartilage. This gives Lileep fine-grained control of the stem's motion under the strong pressures and currents of the sea, a necessary attribute for a species that runs very long vigils to feed itself. The cups in Lileep's foot suck water or air and lead it to internal vacuoles located at the base of the stem that are isolated from the rest of the organism; by forcing the vacuoles to expand, Lileep gains almost instantaneous anchoring when needed at the expense of strength. The foot also features microscopic cilia that can capture and lift nutrients available in the sea floor (see Diet). Lileep and Cradily's anchoring capabilities allow them feats such as resisting the pull of a Machoke grabbing their stem, or standing erect on a glass wall orthogonal to the ground. An important change that Lileep undergoes upon evolution is the relocation of the tentacles. In the basic form they form at the top of the protective hood tissue around the head and have the primary function of serving as a lure and trap for prey; upon evolution the protective ring had moved down the hood and to the base of the neck leaving a layer of soft, inflatable tissue in its place. This new layer of tissue compliments the hood by hiding the real position of Cradily's eyes — a mechanism helped by the ring designs around Cradily's head, which also resemble eyes. The tentacles themselves relocate to the base of the neck, where their primary function becomes that of helping Cradily's thrust and maneuverability in water as well as protecting the mouth from interference when eating.
HabitatIn the distant past Lileep could be found at the bottom of the tropical seas such as the ones close to Hoenn, in large colonies that created the image of "waving carpets". This structure had a double role, helping them obtain their diet and protecting them from hunters, which at their time meant most likely Anorith‹#347› and probably Gorebyss. Their evolved form Cradily, on the other hand, was most likely found below rocky cliffs and coral formations, above but close to the surface of the sea. Cradily has been discovered to have ventured into land for short bursts of time, during which they revealed their Grass-type nature by laying in the sand or rocky cliffs and capturing some sunlight. Sunlight being an essentially scarce resource in their normal lives however, it is currently unknown what they would use the stored energy for.
LocomotionAnchoring to the sea floor and securing a spot was an important part of Lileep's life, however they weren't entirely incapable of motion. By retracting and extending the different parts of their foot rhythmically, Lileep could crawl slowly across the seafloor. If in danger, they could also "hop" short distances by detaching, then sucking and blowing water — a complicated and tiring maneuver that granted Lileep an incredible initial speed at the expense of the control of direction. The "normal" way of traveling however was by "socially assisted surfing" of undersea currents: with the initial grab and thrust of others of their kin, a Lileep could detach from the seafloor and be "blown" to higher currents, where it could reorient itself and eject short bursts of water or use its tentacles to "glide" towards a new landing spot. While they weren't physiologically fit to travel long distances, recent discoveries in the distribution of fossils suggest that Lileep were actually capable of reaching across large sections of the sea floor and even visiting the surface. How they achieved this is currently unknown, although it is probable that they anchored themselves to a passing large Pokémon such as a Wailord ancestor and used it as transport.
DietThe diet of Lileep and Cradily consisted mainly of plankton and fish. While attached to the seafloor, Lileep waved their tentacles to emulate the presence of seaweed that hunting species are fond of. Once prey was at reaching distance, Lileep would reveal itself by stretching and catching the prey, then dragging it to its mouth. If the prey was small enough, resistance would be futile, as the prey would be swallowed whole; a larger or fiercer prey would require Lileep to squeeze it and suffocate it by covering its gills or mouth with the tentacles' mucus. Being marine creatures, Lileep have the ability to extract and process oxygen from the water, even under relatively high pressure and low temperature; they could also extract some minerals from the sea floor that were lifted and carried by the foot and tentacles. Their body is designed to extract most if not all of its oxygen from water however, which means they had to make advance preparations for any attempt to cross to shallow water or towards land. It has been observed in reanimated Lileep that while they enjoy the easy meal that plankton and small fish provide, they won't miss the chance to try and lure larger Pokémon to their grasp, if not to eat them at least to serve them a fight; they may also acquire exquisite tastes, such as Hoenn Lileep having a preference for Feebas meat rather than other Pokémon (VERY far) more readily available. This may be a remnant trait indicative of the patience they'd need to hunt in the seafloor the way they did.
HazardsBeing relatively unknown Pokémon, Lileep and Cradily are very difficult to handle. However they have social traits that can make accommodation easy for the well experienced Water Trainer. Lileep are sociable, don't like solitude, are very attentive of their peers and don't have a perception of being "unique" or "singular", making them actually uncomfortable when they find themselves the center of attention. Cradily on the other hand lead a life of habit and solitude; they pick a spot of their liking and settle there defending it fiercely and not accepting company or assistance unless they get sick. Lileep are very ancient Pokémon reanimated only recently; as such not only do they lack immunity against nowadays's environmental agents, in particular those carried or produced by humans, but also do not seem to have a well-adjusted spatial perception when on land. They can also get dehydrated very quickly if they are left unattended in a dry, heated environment. When threatened directly, Lileep will resort to two basic strategies: first they will insistently spit acid or pellets made of seeds, shells or other food they have ingested; then if the attacker chooses to get too close, Lileep will use their tentacles to wrap and immobilize the attacker and try to suffocate or inject them with a paralyzing venom. A strong and experienced Cradily can even to take the initiative when fighting underwater by detaching its body and using the currents to propel itself as a homing projectile to hit and then grab its opponent, or even annoy the attacker into chasing them towards the seafloor (which may be infested by Lileep).
ReproductionNothing is known about the reproduction of this species since all existing specimens are currently produced artificially. Lileep may have gathered in the seafloor to proceed to a sort of ritual dancing. The absence of clear reproductive systems suggests the female produces a free-floating egg that is somehow fertilized by the male.
Social StructureLileep lived on the seafloor in large colonies that may have been composed of over 400 individuals. Although very little if anything is known about the social structure of these colonies, observation of sibling Lileep allows for the identification of raw social rules. Social classes seem to have been nonexistent as indicated by their grouping and small need for personal space, although access to footing is still a primordial good fought for. Families may have remained close to each other in a common resting spots. Cradily are known to have lived alone in the outskirts of the colonies or far away from their kin, in the underwater cliffs and sandbanks closer to the surface, which added to their propensity to solitude suggests that their natural social place is that of scouts and invaders for their colony. Once they chose a standing spot, they would perch and remain there until they were somehow forced to leave. They are also known to have ventured on land for obscure purposes.
Authorized Training and Careful HandlingGiven their rarity and other factors, the Pokémon Association remains reticent to allow ownership of Lileep for Trainers. Only a handful of selected individuals may be allowed temporary care of one, mostly as medical research subjects. Application to host a Lileep, at least in Hoenn, follows a very tight long-term test that can last up to six weeks and incorporates live tests of mutual acceptance during the final stages. Were a Trainer to reach the last stages of the certification process or find himself in a situation where interacting with a Lileep directly is needed, the following notes on handling may be of use: Lileep are easy to lift and carry although prone to thrashing, just be careful to approach it and grab it using one and ONLY one arm (see below); be wary that if feeling uncomfortable it will try to anchor itself to your skin or clothes. Cradily is very difficult to approach, handle or carry and it is best to leave it alone — if feeling in need it may ask "permission" to attach itself to a peaceful and slow-moving Pokémon like Lapras or, on land, Torterra. If you need to face an agitated Lileep: while it may sound counter-intuitive given their ability to use attacks such as Energy Ball and Confuse Ray, it is very —VERY— important to only approach a Lileep when facing it directly (more if you are alone), follow and never try to cover or escape their field of vision, and always move one arm at a time, hiding the other from view to appear thinner than you are; remember, Lileep have lived their species life at the bottom of the sea and faced danger as a colony in a common direction. Seeing itself alone and in the presence of an intruder too large to handle, Lileep may respond by ejecting all the venom or pellets it has stored in a last-stand shot. Cradily is even more dangerous in this respect since it may, if experienced and threatened enough, detach itself from the ground and literally leap up to the approaching arm ( or head!) in an attempt to "suffocate" it, and will use its tentacles to wrap itself around incoming arms or tools to prevent attempts to remove him— until perhaps permanent damage has been delivered. Given their particular sociability, Lileep and Cradily are handleable by very experienced Trainers so long as they are not given more than a certain amount of attention; however the issue remains that they seem to have great difficulty understanding land, human language and battle commands, making the overall process excruciatingly long.
NamingThe term Geosera translates roughly as "rock plant" and the names translate as "multi-armed" (multitelum) and "many-armed" (megatelum) "rock plant". The semantically curious binomen is the result of rushed efforts to secure publications about the first experiments of Lileep locomotion, with the earliest publication's assistant gravely forgetting there is no difference in the amount of "arms" this species presents in its evolutive stages; this caused rule 42.1 (b) of the Code of Pokémon Botanics Nomenclature to kick in. At the time of writing of this document, there is ongoing effort to search for more representative binomes for this evolutionary line.
Entry by Silent Reverence. Further credits pending. Lileep and Cradily are names © by Nintendo.