Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Ponyta [#077]
- Rapidash [#078]
Both Ponyta and Rapidash are quadrupedal equine Pokemon with a pelt of short white hair and distinctive red-orange "flame" hair on the head, tail, and legs. Ponyta stands roughly 3 to 4 feet tall and weighs anywhere from 100 to 130 lbs. Upon evolution, Rapidash become almost twice as large, towering at up to 5'07'' and weighing from 250 to 285 lbs. Its flame mane becomes significantly larger, and it grows a trail of hair down its back and extending to its tail, while the hair on the back of its thighs migrates down to its ankles. Its eyes transform from large, brown eyes to proportionally smaller crimson-irised ones, and its triangular ears now stand straight up and become much thinner. Finally, the Rapidash grows a single horn made up of hardened keratin in the center of its forehead. If broken, this horn regenerates very quickly, taking a week to grow back at most.
The Ponyta line's most famous feature is its so-called "flame"-hair. Despite popular misconception, the hair is NOT made up of flames at all, but looks remarkably like fire to the casual viewer. Like most fire Pokemon, the Ponyta line has an internal pyro-sac filled with a flammable liquid located at the base of the neck. Using a secondary diaphragm, it sucks in air, lights it with igniter cells lining the sac, and sprays a stream of burning air and liquid. More unique to the Ponyta line, they secrete this flammable liquid in small amounts throughout their bodies, coating their fine pelts. By using igniter cells similar to the ones located in the pyro-sac, the Ponyta is able to light any part of their entirely fire-proof bodies ablaze. This liquid is found in the greatest concentrations in the "flame" hair, so more often than not, a Ponyta ends up lighting its hair on fire whether it wants to or not—thus the origin of the "Ponyta have fire for hair" myth. There is a rare (approx: 1/8192 occurrence) genetic mutation that causes the Ponyta to produce an altered version of the flammable oil, causing the flames to burn blue. These individuals are marked with similarly colored hair, and are prized among collectors and breeders.
The hooves of a Ponyta are extremely hard and dense biological structures, making it almost impossible (or necessary, for that matter) to put horseshoes on a Ponyta without using a diamond-tipped drill—leading to the misconception that Ponyta hooves are as hard as diamond. This, combined with Ponyta's sturdy bones and strong muscles, makes it an excellent jumper, being able to easily cross 30 yards in a single bound.
Rapidash, hence the name, are one of the fastest land Pokemon in existence. They are able to run at over 60 mph while carrying an adult human on their backs without having to stop for rest for over 3 hours. Unburdened, Rapidash clock in at an average speed of 75 mph, and peaking at 150 mph sprints in some cases. This, combined with their seeming eagerness to carry humans, cemented Rapidash as the most popular means of personal transportation for centuries. In non-urban areas, they continue to be so, even with the advent of motor vehicles. Rapidash racing is also a popular gambling sport, though it has lost some notoriety due to the rise of electronic Game Corners.
Apart from their speed, Rapidash are also known to be incredibly competitive, racing others of their species and anything else that they think can match them at any given opportunity, to an almost Obsessive-Compulsive degree. Rapidash stabled during long winter months have been known to get extremely agitated and stir-crazy. One reported incident had a group of Rapidash burning down their own stable and escaping into the snowy fields, their owners unable to restrain them. They were found three days later, approximately 100 miles away, all dead from exhaustion. As of recently, there have been several incidents of Rapidash chasing cars. Results have ranged from "entertaining" to "tragic".
Approximately 50% of the world's Ponyta and Rapidash population are domesticated, with ranches being extremely common in rural areas. Among the remaining wild ones, there are two main species: grassland dwelling, and the less common mountain dwelling. The mountain dwelling species are slightly smaller, have denser bones, and more lung capacity to compensate for thinner air in higher areas.
Ponyta and Rapidash are both entirely herbivorous, feeding primarily on grasses and shrubs, though it is not uncommon for them to forage for berries. The Shuca berry seems to be a favorite of the species—with its high sugar and essential vitamin content, it is perfect for fueling the Pokemon's racing habit.
Both Ponyta and Rapidash are very docile creatures, preferring to flee or intimidate their enemies by lighting themselves afire, using their fire-breathing abilities as a last resort. However, they are very easily startled. It is not recommended to approach a Ponyta or Rapidash from behind, as they reflexively kick anything that approaches them from behind unannounced. Their kicks can easily crush human bones, and can potentially be fatal if they rupture vital organs.
Also, DO NOT ever bring anything flammable or anything that can create a spark near a Ponyta. The oil that permeates their bodies is extremely volatile and will easily cause a fire if the trainer is not very careful. While the Ponyta is completely fire-proof, the same cannot be said for anything on or near it. Because of this, it is recommended for anyone riding a Ponyta or Rapidash to use a saddle and chaps made of Sharpedo leather or other fire-resistant material.
While they rarely use it in battle, the horn of a Rapidash can easily gore a human. Some trainers have taken advantage of this and trained their Rapidash to mimic the effects of a Rhydon's Horn Drill by repeatedly stabbing the victim in the same spot with its horn. Due to the brutality of this move, trainers are required to dull the horns of their Rapidashes before use in sanctioned Pokemon battles.
Courting and Childrearing
All Rapidash species mate during early spring. If two males are found competing for the same female, they engage in intimidation battles by rearing up on their hind legs and lighting their manes on fire. If neither backs off, they "fence" with their horns until one of their horns breaks or one gives up.
After about a 5 month gestation period, a wild Rapidash gives live birth to a single foal. The foal is extremely weak at birth and is barely able to stand. But, its muscles quickly hypertrophy and it is easily able to keep up with its parents by 3 weeks of age. After approximately 12 months, a Ponyta is considered mature. It is at this time when a mountain Ponyta leaves its parents and goes off on its own. Domesticated Ponyta typically evolve 1 to 2 years after reaching maturity, with an average total life-span of 15 years. Wild Ponyta evolve much later, at around 7 to 8 years of age, and some may not evolve at all depending on food and other resources.
Grassland Ponyta live in herds of 20-25 adults and varying numbers of adolescents, with an approximately 50% male/female gender ratio. Mountain Ponyta are generally more solitary, usually traveling with one mate and any immature offspring.
Original entry written by Neo Crimson of The Pokedex Extended Fanon Edition. Ponyta, Rapidash, Pokemon, and all related terms, characters, and productions are the property of Gamefreak and Nintendo.