Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyPiplup, Prinplup, and Empoleon are a line of sea-dwelling avians. They are flightless, but they more than make up for this by their incredible grace in the cool northern waters in which they dwell. They are quite rare in the wild, though they are one of the three official Starter Pokémon of the Sinnoh League and so are most commonly found alongside a Trainer. Piplup are the first and smallest form of the species. They are tiny and round-bodied. They tend to be unsteady on their feet at this stage, and they prefer to be held by their Trainer. They crave attention at this stage, and will constantly want to be picked up and held. However, they will often refuse food from their Trainers and they will prefer to forage for food by themselves. The second form of this species, the Prinplup, is larger and more aggressive than a Piplup. They can be readily distinguished from a Piplup by their large, bifurcated head crest. In the wild, they are chased off from their flock upon reaching this stage. Biologists theorize that this is to prevent inbreeding. The final form of the line, the Empoleon, is among one of the largest predators of the Sinnoh oceans. It has a huge, muscular body, a sharp, three-pointed head crest, and a large beak. They are the dominant predators in their element, and one account has perportedly seen a Empoleon facing off against a fully grown Dewgong. All three of these creatures have large, puffy chests that, comically, make them seem prideful and dignified. These chests actually hold huge lungs that allow them to stay submerged for long periods of time. Their heavy, durable bones allow them to withstand pressure. Empoleon have been known to dive for up to twenty minutes at depths exceeding fifty feet in pursuit of prey.
HabitatEmpoleon flocks are most commonly found in cool, deep water off the northern coast of the Sinnoh province. They will roost on land, though if threatened they will gladly retreat to the seas.
DietThe line is almost entirely piscivorous. However, Empoleon will on occasion tackle landbound prey that have strayed too close to the beach, throwing itself out of the water, seizing the prey in its beak, and dragging it back into the water, where it is subsequently drowned and eaten.
HazardsAn angered Empoleon is a dangerous creature indeed. An Empoleon, in the wild, rules over a harem of females; it will therefore interpret any physical contact as an aggressive attempt to wrest it from dominance and mating rights. (TRAINER'S NOTE: To avoid such attacks, it is wise to ensure your position as the "alpha male" within your party from the Prinplup stage onwards to make sure your future Empoleon will have no trouble adjusting to physical contact.) This can also be problematic for unwitting trainers — a friendly match can quickly turn into a lethal affair with a poorly trained Empoleon.
CourtingIn midwinter, Empoleon will mate, one by one, with their harem. In the event that an interloping male attempts to join the mating, fierce ritualized combat will take place. This will often take the form of the Empoleons using Water Gun against one another, forcing their streams of water against one another in a spectacular arc pattern until one is knocked down. In the event that neither falls, ferocious close combat will ensue. It is not uncommon to see a grizzled wild Empoleon missing an eye or crest as a result of years of combat. Solitary male Empoleon, during breeding season, will attempt to call to similarly lone females by creating a thundrous quacking noise that can carry for kilometres. Females will lay eggs in mid-spring; they grow quickly and will hatch about two months later.
Social StructureIn the wild, male Empoleon will rule over a harem of four to six female Empoleon, accompanied by their young. Upon evolving, female Prinplups will leave the flock and seek a new group. Male Prinplups will live alone for a few years. Upon evolving, they will often fight other flocks for dominance, the victor claiming control over the harem.
In Human CultureThe entire line, especially Piplup and Prinplup, but ESPECIALLY Piplup are very popular pokemon adored for their cuteness. As a result, several movies and TV shows aimed towards children feature them prominently.