Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Minccino (Pulchystricens peregrinocax) [#572]
- Cinccino (P. togacaudam) [#573]
Notable BiologyOne of the most interesting aspects of Minccino biology is their tails. Almost as long as the rest of their bodies are, not counting the ears, the Minccino tail is designed to fulfill many biological, ecological and social roles across the lifetime of a member of this species. The tail itself is comprised of a muscle channel covering the spine, providing the tail with some flexibility. The spine itself only reaches about 1/3rd of the length of the tail; the rest is backed by longitudinal, alternating strands of cartilage and muscle, each one giving support and mobility to branches of hairs that are organized and behave not unlike the hairs of housebrooms. Stiffening the tip of their tails, Minccino can use them to drag small objects and particles across the ground, as well as retrieve nearby objects. Their natural tendency to drag around everything they find loose consumes much of their time and defines their level of social interaction; in that sense, their behaviour at an early age is similar to species such as Zigzagoon. Cinccino's tail, however, it is not used to drag or broom objects, but as a protective cover and a symbol of social status for this morph. The tail grows white and fuzzy to about thrice its original size, and Cinccino make do with it by arranging and wearing it in a manner not unlike how humans wear togas or scarfs, leading to a component of their name. Trained Cinccino have been shown to be capable of sticking or knotting small shiny objects to their scarfs, that they wear and display around in a manner not unlike that of military ranking badges.
HabitatMinccino and their evolution are found commonly in certain places in the Unova region. The highest populaton density can be observed in the west side of Unova's central peninsula, just outside the cities of Opelucid and Nimbasa. While Minccino move around at any time of the day, Cinccino usually move around their territory only during dawn and dusk, unless otherwise provoked. The times of the day immediately after their breakfast and the afternoon are spent mostly in continuous revision of their territory, in search of stuff to tidy up. Were a Minccino or Cinccino to find that their place is tidied up, they'll climb to a high tree or otherwise look for a vintage point and find a neighbour Minccino with whom to brush tails and tag along for the remainder of the day, going around in small tasks such as fetching berries, collecting random objects passerby leave behind, or practising their aim to fling objects that they don't like or deem usable as means of attacking an intruder or contender. Sometimes, Minccino and Trubbish's territories or paths cross. While they won't jump at and attack each other, the presence of both these Pokémon leads to very extroverted and unstable dynamics depending on how populated of random objects is their surrounding space. In general it is recommended to stay away at the sight of Minccino facing Trubbish in suburb areas. [See the Minccino and Trubbish section for more details.] At the time of writing of this article, effort to catalog the habitats and distribution of Minccino populations in regions other than Unova is still underway. While results have been inconclusive, it can be expected that wild populations would be found in places fitting the overall patterns that this species inhabits in Unova, that is, ample grasslands nearby to open, suburban human settlements. How would this factor in their relationships with species such as Meowth or Murkrow is also under study.
DietMinccino in the wild are primarily baccivorous, with a clear preference for dry berries, although they do fall back to eating grass instead during times of low activity. They can easily get used to human cooking, in particular when it comes to salads and snacks, sometimes leading to stray Minccino using their charms or yelling around houses to distract their occupants and thus be able to steal some food. The preference towards dry food is learned and might be related to ease of handling; in fact, Minccino and Cinccino tend to drink water only at dawn and dusk, when they have almost no other duties to do in their natural order. Members of this line tend to favour the Chesto Berry which they can be frequently seen carrying around from one hiding spot to the next. Trained Minccino and Cinccino can take another types of food, showing a preference towards sugars and dried food. They appreciate corn as a treat, as well as some dry snacks. People who have members of this line as pets, or as frequent visitors, will usually see them come for a quick drink for breakfast, and then make a lunchtime visit to taste whatever the human cook has offered as an entrée. Of note to Trainers, Minccino seem to consider a sign of disrespect, or at least of important lack of attention, to be gifted a berry or an object that they would otherwise eat. For them, the concepts of "food" and "collectible" are well separated.
HazardsAs they are mostly interested in keeping their territory perfectly tidy and collecting objects to show around, Minccino are of no high risk to travellers; those travellers should take care, however, to keep their inventory as tidy as the Minccino keep their homes, and to stay put while traversing wide paths, otherwise they'll lose any shiny object to a watching Minccino as soon as they pop it out of their pockets or bags. In battle, Minccino and Cinccino can handle themselves quite efficiently, despite the first's size and the second's reluctance to battle. Their compact form and dexterity allow them to move around and look for mischievous or surprising ways to attack and opponent, all of them based on the somewhat counterintuitive concept of keeping themselves inside the area of their opponent's reach, which allows them to try different diversionary as well as spend the minimal effort required to reach and attack their opponents on their own. However, they are usually forced to flee at the sight of flying predators. In general, two "schools" of Minccino battling style can be observed in the wild. The first one has them always keep close to the opponent, darting and hopping around in a manner that allows them to preserve and build momentum that they carry out from their tree leaps and other maneuvers; this particularly benefits the simplest, more instinctive patterns of attack such as tackling or scratching, which they perform with added power at no extra effort expense. The second, somewhat rarer teaching is similar to patterns exhibited in Shellder or Aipom attack styles, where as part of a calmer, more thought movement, the Pokémon always follows their opponent and maintains a constantly open vector of attack, allowing them to consecutively land attacks even as they move or wiggle around. This kind of strategy is far more taxing on their small bodies, which might be the reason why so few specimens seem to be taught this way; however, it can be observed that Cinccino greatly benefit from is as they can learn a variety of attacks involving the concept of throwing stuff around, up to and including Bullet Seed. They are no strangers to unorthodox instinctive tactics such as faking tears of fear or disgust, or charming and tickling their opponents; in fact, together with their technician schooling, intentionally letting an opponent get into close distance to them in order to adequately seduce, attract or infatuate seems to be one the most favoured general combat strategies. In the wild, such use of their assets is mostly exercised against other Minccino and rodent-like Pokémon, as all is fair in the competition for territory, water, or that shiny object lying around...
Courting and ChildrearingTwice a year, members of both genders of this line will cross from one neighborhood to the next, examining all dens in search for the one that both appears the tidiest and most cared for. Females tend to look for mates that appear available to come clean a den at any time, whereas males tend to look for mates that can clean or collect quickly. The details of the actual breeding process are yet unknown. After eight to ten weeks, a litter of three or four Minccino is born. The kits grow hair from the lower spine outwards, and then the paws. At the second week, all members of the litter accompany their parents in short escapaed to go collect random leaves, specks or pebbles around their home. Each sibling must maintain a small hoard of their own in a safe spot of their choosing outside of the family den, and will be forced to leave, gaining independence, once they can afford maintaining an habitable resting spot without needing the parents's assistance to sort out or clean the collected objects. This process can last from three to eight months, depending on the habitat and availability of collectibles.
Social StructureAs of this time, little is known of the way Minccino structure their society. They are known to live in family clusters delimited by landmarks such as trees, creeks, stones or fences near human settlements, delimiting microstructures akin to neighborhoods. Minccino of the same "neighborhood" frequently meet each other, brush each other's furs and tails, take communal care of the children, and share "routes" and "stops" in their travels towards water or food resources. When two Minccino from different neighborhoods meet, it can be in one of three conditions: looking for objects to collect, tidying up their personal space, or just dozing around. If they are competing for objects to collect, the land "owner" will first warn the intruder, before chasing him around; very few times these chases end up becoming actual battles, as both Pokémon try to go climb and pass around any feature of the landscape as an attempt to establish their abilities without the need to resorting to mutual damage. If the Minccino are tidying their personal space, which usually happens in the morning, both individuals will greet each other in a ritual that consists primarily of smelling each other and brushing each other's tails with their own, probably to pass to each other olfatory information about what object have they found in their travels. A Minccino that has come into contact with a "Shiny Stone" evolves into Cinccino. These evolved forms rarely travel or explore beyond the confines of their familial unit, and whenever they can be seen they are usually walking around, helping their brethren tidy up their territory, or stand up in a tree or another landmark exhibiting their particular "scarf". The exact meaning of this evolution in their social order is still poorly understood.
City Scouting(Pending in this revision)
Interaction with the Trubbish LineDuring their exploration of territory, Minccino can occasionally end up meeting members of the Trubbish line, characterized by their garbage collector habits. They don't actively spread garbage around, and prefer to incorporate it into their bodies. Because they can compete for random objects for pretty much the same purpose, both species can come at odds, however it might be surprising to some that most of the time they do actually work together, if figuratively baring their teeth the whole time. Minccinos are not too attentive to the presence of a Trubbish until they share a common space where there are objects to collect or tidy up. At this point, Minccino can't tolerate being around a Trubbish, as they perceive those as moving blobs of untidy stuff, and compete for appropriation of dirty objects (one for cleaning, the other for assimilation); but as time passes Minccino tends to interrupt the Trubbish's activities less as they result in effectively cleaning up the place anyway. In rare circumstances in sparsely populated suburbs, it can be observed that a Minccino will even help a Trubbish drag, pull or absorb some small objects so that both species can finish their activities faster; similarly, Trubbish tend to help brush and sweep dirt out of large objects. In clean environments where a Minccino and a Trubbish meet suddenly, the Minccino's instincts tend to kick him making him go and try to "clean" the Trubbish, for the mutual annoyance of both individuals and the amusement of onlookers, in particular children. Much surprise comes from a Minccino suddenly realizing the mound of dirt he is trying to brush around is alive and demanding to be let go.
[[In Popular Culture]]Minccino have been known for their collection and hygiene habits for a relatively long period of time. The fact that they build up habits from a early age and trade on them on the same level as humans do on currency, added to their playfulness and the lack of inherent risks in letting them live in-house, have led to them being considered good house companions for families with young children. This leads to several Minccino facets present in advertising, the most prominent of them a series of commercials advertising bleach, surface cleaners and Skitty litters, featuring Minccino paws popping out from below or behind random objects (such as the TV set, a lamp, a salad bowl and even a sleeping Purugly) to stealthily and insistently clean the surrounding surfaces. Unfortunately this trait has been over-exaggerated by the media as well, leading to a trend that lasted for some years, where mothers and housewives that had to spent most of their time at home, doing chores, were despectively described as having the "''Minccinrox Syndrome", after a renowned brand of such products as mentioned above.
Article by Silent Reverence. Contributions by Anom and other members of the PEFE Project.