Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Physical DescriptionRatatta and Raticate are both rodent Pokémon, but they have relatively different appearances for Pokémon in the same line. Ratatta are small, with short fur that’s purple except for their white bellies and paws. They have red eyes, round ears, large upper incisors that stick out of their mouth even when it’s closed, a long, short-furred tail that ends in a curl, and a pair of whiskers. Raticate are much larger, and are more rotund in appearance. While their belly fur is still creamy in color, the rest is tan. The paws are devoid of fur, as is the tail, which is now segmented. They have jagged ears, three whiskers (which may serve to aid it in balance as well as touch), and most distinctively of all, two oversized incisors that constantly grind together. One extremely rare phenotype has golden fur and blue eyes as a Ratatta, trading it for rust-red fur as a Raticate. These “diamonds in the rough” are highly sought after.
Notable BiologyWhile not necessarily in the top percentage of battlers, this line is valued for its ease of care and its surprising intelligence, making it easy to train and a popular choice for a first Pokémon. This species, being Normal-type, can learn a wide variety of attacks by Technical Machine and other methods. However, they favor melee attacks, and naturally learn many Normal and Dark-type moves. They can use their bodies and tails for offense if necessary, but their favored weapons are their huge, hard teeth. The three strains of this line are very different. One has enhanced reflexes and reaction time, allowing it flee from foes more easily; however, it is not as useful when the Ratatta or Raticate has to fight. The second gets a boost of adrenaline when the body is damaged in certain ways, giving the Pokémon increased attacking power. Finally, the third, rarest strain has increased testosterone levels, causing it to attack with more power but less precision.
HabitatThis species is one of the most adaptable and ubiquitous Pokémon species known. Due to their versatile diet and fast breeding, while they are thought to have originated in Kanto, they have spread to pretty much every corner of the world and leave only the most extreme habitats untouched. They live in mountains, valleys, pine forests, jungles, grasslands, and even the busiest of cities without much trouble. They’re also incredibly populous wherever they live – a common urban legend is that if one sees one Ratatta, there are 40 more living in the area – and it’s probably not far from the truth. They are the most numerous mammal Pokémon (and may outnumber humans as well), and among the most numerous of all Pokémon. All of the above applies to both Ratatta and Raticate, but with one exception: Raticate prefer to live near some kind of water. However, this extends to any kind of freshwater environment – including sewers.
DietIt would probably be easier to describe what these Pokémon don’t eat. They are truly omnivorous, in every sense of the word. Their ultra-efficient digestive systems are only rivaled by those of the Munchlax and Gulpin lines, as well as Giratina. They prefer hard foods to wear down their constantly-growing teeth, but they can derive sustenance from just about anything. Meat, bones, fruits, seeds, nuts, plants, wood, cinder walls, concrete… if it’s not too poisonous or dangerous, it’s potential food. Ratatta spend most of their day foraging and scavenging for food scraps and looking for live prey. Typically, said prey are very young members of other Pokémon species, but they can work together to take down larger meals – Professor Rowan, on a visit to Kanto, once observed a group of Ratatta taking down an Ivysaur. However, they must always be cautious – for while they eat pretty much anything, pretty much every predator likes to eat them, so Ratatta must remain ever vigilant, swiveling their ears even while sleeping. Raticate is larger, and not only does it have to worry less about predators, but it is more of one itself as well. Raticate mildly favor aquatic fare, and have some webbing on their back feet in order to swim after Water Pokémon (as well as feeding on water plants). Some Raticate have actually been observed to eat Ratatta when hungry enough.
HazardsLone Ratatta aren’t dangerous – their bites can pierce skin, but they prefer to run away from perceived threats. However, groups of Ratatta can be a threat to a lone human – especially if they are very hungry or angry and/or said human is in a helpless position. Raticate are larger and more aggressive, and so represent a threat even by themselves. Their huge teeth allow them to pierce a person’s body to the bone, and there are reports of wild ones attacking small human children. In addition, both stages are prone to a number of diseases capable of infecting humans – like the infamous Purple Pox (see “In Human Culture”). Captive-raised Ratatta and Raticate are far less aggressive towards humans, and aren’t as likely to be diseased. However, they still have their appetites, which can lead them to destroy property.
Courting and ChildrearingPart of the reason this line is so common is that it breeds very frequently – there is no true breeding season, and females can be found raising young every year, and even multiple times a year. They can breed at a young age - Ratatta is one of the few Pokémon to naturally, frequently breed in its first evolutionary stage. Mating ceremonies are nonexistent – mating is, in fact, the default response when two unrelated members of this species meet while foraging. The female nests in a burrow or other sheltered area and gives birth to around seven offspring, although they can reach twice that number. They wean off her milk and grow independent quickly, allowing them to continue the cycle soon after.
Social StructureRatatta live in groups of up to sixty individuals. They make nests close by to each other, and often in high places – Ratatta are good climbers. They forage on their own, though sometimes they will work together to take down large prey or find a good source of food, and share the spoils. Raticate live similarly, though due to predators being less worrisome, and their lack of climbing skill compared to Ratatta, they typically live on the ground. Raticate societies are also more hierarchical, with higher-ranking members getting first “dibs” on shared food resources. As a result, in hard times the lower-ranking ones tend to die off first, but the others breed more to compensate.
In Human CultureThese Pokémon are regarded as some of the worst pests in history. They destroy property, feed on stored food, and, most notoriously of all, pass diseases on to humans. The dreaded Purple Pox, which killed millions of people in regions all across the world in medieval times, started in this species and then spread to humans. Extermination campaigns are waged against them, and they’ve invaded places they’re not normally native to (though local predators usually keep them under control). Villainous fictional portrayals of this line in every medium are as numerous as the real thing, and nigh-impossible to completely list. (One powerful entertainment company has a mascot known as Petey Pikachu; the company’s detractors often suggest it should be replaced with a Ratatta.) However, there are some bright spots in human-Ratatta/Raticate relations. They are often bred in captivity, and the resulting, more docile individuals are popular as pets, laboratory Pokemon and as beginner Pokémon for Trainers. While rare, sympathetic fictional portrayals exist; one features a pet Ratatta that finds himself in the world of sewer Ratatta, and another stars a Ratatta that dreams of being a gourmet chef, while a third features a mutated Raticate as the mentor of four mutated Squirtle that are quite heavily into martial arts... and pizza.
Written by Umbramatic (Based on the original by Crow T. Robot, now known as Locoman). Feel free to PM me on the forums if you have any suggestions. If I don't respond... consult the thread.