Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyWhat must be first considered is that the Psyduck line is not closely related to other flying types, despite appearances to contrary. They have more in common with Normal types, including short fur that protects against cold water. The beak is from some instance of convergent evolution – a mutant Psyduck ancestor had a beak and it gave him the edge over those that didn’t. Despite not being labelled as such, they also have some psychic abilities. In Psyduck, whose brain is not big enough to keep the power in check, this results in headaches and a loss of some non-essential brain functions, leading to a vacant stare and definite retardation. They may also discharge that energy when the pain gets too bad (See Hazards below). Golduck, however, can deal with the mental strain psychic power requires. This is helped, in part, by a focus, much like Kadabra’s or Alakazam’s spoons. Except instead of an external focus, the focus here is the red ‘third eye’, made out of keratin. The red is actually blood – the ‘eye’ also functions as a small radiator, which even glows when psychic powers are being used. Once upon a time, the eye was thought to be some sort of liquid vital to the Golduck’s function, kept as a sphere by psychic energy. This was compounded by the fact that the only time they saw a Golduck without the ‘eye’ was dead Golduck. This was merely because, before anaesthetic, the only way to get the eye was to kill it or use trauma to get it into unconsciousness that could result in the death of it anyway. Hunters used to, and still do in some areas, sell Golduck eyes as psychic lenses (but they are vastly inferior to Kadabra or Alakazam spoons), or grounded up into various folk cures for headaches (which is no different to a placebo). One other fact about Golduck is that they are very strong swimmers, possibly the best among amphibious Pokémon.
HabitatPsyduck and Golduck are most commonly seen in fresh-water lakes and rivers, although some have adapted to making nests along coastlines. Several groups of families can live along the banks of a lake or coast, as long as food is plentiful.
DietPsyduck are omnivorous, eating whatever they can catch or forage for, though favourites are other water Pokémon, mostly for their fat and starchy plant material. Trainers are suggested to give their Psyduck plenty of carbohydrates, psychic power requires a lot of energy.
HazardsTemperamentally, both are quite docile. Psyduck are nice but a bit dim, and Golduck, while having the air of superiority about them, are fine just to leave humans alone. To those whose mothers said that playing by a river would mean a Golduck would leap up and drag you down shouldn’t worry – humans are on the whole too big for them to eat, even children. There has never been an actual recorded incident of a Golduck intentionally drowning a child beyond hearsay. And bowing to them, so their ‘eye’ falls out and it dies when they reciprocate the bow, will only get confused looks from the Golduck, which in all likelihood will wander away. However, it is a good idea to keep something tin near a domesticated Psyduck. In the wild, most deaths are caused by an inopportune discharge of psychic energy, alerting nearby predators to its presence. In domestication, psychic discharges can cause havoc. The best way to stop this is to ‘ground’ that psychic energy, and tin is the best metal for that (yes, tin foil hats really will stop government Alakazam reading your thoughts – if it was actually tin foil and not aluminium foil, which is more common nowadays). In the absence of wanting to keep a tin object around, use a Bug, Dark or Ghost Pokémon, all of which are effective absorbers of psychic energy, especially the relatively weak stuff given off by a Psyduck’s psychic discharge. Another suggestion is to keep Psyduck’s and Golduck’s claws trimmed – they can be quite sharp and they aren’t as careful around humans as they would be around their own species.
Courting and ChildrearingA male Golduck will attempt to attract a female with elaborate psychic displays – the more elaborate the better – once per year during the mating season. Only very rarely will these become actual fights between two male Golduck, usually involving claws and beaks instead of any psychic abilities. The male will gather food for the female while she is tending the eggs (there can be any between one and three), but will leave the family to fend for themselves once all the Psyduck have hatched, after a month long gestation. The mother then takes care of the children, who may be helped by any Golduck that didn’t mate that year.
Social StructureWhere humans are social creatures that have independent streaks, Golduck are solitary creatures that have no trouble living in large groups. They function perfectly well even if they very rarely, if ever, see another Golduck, but function equally as well sharing a lake or a stretch of coast with dozens of other Golduck. Psyduck, on the other hand, require near constant supervision and a group setting due to their reduced mental capabilities.