Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Physical DescriptionThe members of the Squirtle line are bipedal chelonid creatures that are characterized by their keratinous shells, which allow for bodily appendages to be withdrawn and protected in threatening circumstances, skeletal structures that incorporate increasingly large quantities of metallic compounds as they evolve, and bluish hides that progressively darken with evolution. Typical Squirtle stand 50 centimeters tall and weigh roughly 9 kilograms, with female individuals trending larger than their male counterparts. One of the defining features of this morph is the pattern of its shell, which consists of a series of 8 cream-colored plates along its underbelly and a series of 7 tawny plates protecting its back, which are connected by a white rim. Other notable features of Squirtle’s anatomy include its light blue hide, hands and feet with 3 digits protected by claws with the same coloration as their hide, a prominent club-like tail with a vaguely swirl-shaped pattern that at rest assumes an upright position, and a head structure incorporating a short-snout, beak-like jaws with unexposed teeth with a mild overbite, and forward-facing eyes with white sclera and large pupils and irises. Individuals that have attained this line’s second form, Wartortle, typically stand roughly a meter tall and weigh just over 20 kilograms. One of the most dramatic divergences between the anatomy of Wartortle and that of its younger counterpart beyond the presence of a darker blue hide is the presence of “ears” on the sides of its head and a tail covered in pale, furry hair-like structures. Other divergences between Wartortle and Squirtle’s anatomy include the development of more prominent white claws on its hand, the alteration of its shell’s pattern, which in this stage retains the top pattern that its younger form possessed, albeit with darker brown plates, but has developed a pattern on the lower portion of its shell with 5 tan as opposed to 7 cream plates, the development of eyes with proportionally smaller irises and pupils, and the presence of a pair of exposed fangs on its upper jaw. The final stage of this line, Blastoise, typically stands 160 centimeters tall upright, and weighs in at approximately 85 kilograms. Blastoise possesses the most dramatically divergent appearance from its youngest counterparts. One of the most immediately visible changes is in the structure of its shell. Although at a cursory glance, Blastoise’s pattern on its upper shell has remained virtually unchanged, closer examination will reveal that two of the uppermost plates have been modified in order to accommodate two retractable, vaguely cannon-like structures made composed of bones incorporating high levels of metallic compounds. Blastoise possesses plates on the underside of its shell, that unlike both of its prior forms, have a horizontally banded arrangement, and similarly, possesses a unique rim structure, which incorporates the openings in the shell for this creature’s arms. Other anatomical changes exhibited by Blastoise include a radically divergent head structure, with a jaw and snout more akin to a short, squarish crocodilian jaw than those possessed by Blastoise’s earlier forms, with a lower jaw colored similarly to the plates on the underside of its shell, a short, horizontally-oriented tail, and hands with 3 clawed digits, and feet with 3 claws and a prominent spur on its heel. Blastoise’s hide also exhibits significant alterations, with all regions other than its lower jaw covered in a deep blue hide, with regions on its arms and kneecaps giving an appearance akin to armored plating. Members of this line are known to have two commonly observed phenotypes, which are most pronounced in the Squirtle and Wartortle stages of life. One phenotype is defined by carriers in the Squirtle stage of their lives possessing sky blue hides, and possessing hides with a vaguely violet tint and whitish hairs on their “ears” and tails as Wartortle. Individuals bearing the second common phenotype possess darker hides as Squirtle, and a moderately darker blue hide along with light blue hairs as Wartortle. A third, radically divergent phenotype has also been rarely recorded. Possessors of this third phenotype have dramatically darker hides as Squirtle, along with yellow and green lower and upper shell plates respectively. As Wartortle, carries of this third phenotype possess violet hides, with faint green hairs, and cream and green lower and upper shell plates respectively. As Blastoise, such individuals maintain coloration patterns that are akin to a darkened version of the patterns possessed earlier as Wartortle.
Notable BiologyOne of the defining features of these creatures’ biology is their possession of bladders capable of storing volumes of water and expelling amounts in pressurized bursts. Individuals in all stages are capable of expelling jets of water from this bladder from their mouths, and individuals that have attained the Blastoise stage are further capable of expelling bursts from two retractable “cannons” from their shells. The water in this bladder also appears to play a further role of ballast, especially among members of the first two lines; individuals that have water bladders illicitly modified to be larger via surgery are known to occasionally have difficulties while swimming. Another significant facet of these creatures’ biology is the incorporation of metallic compounds into their bones, which is especially pronounced in the latter stages of this line. Although they curiously do not appear to possess the same weakness to abrupt bursts of heat as some Pokémon with similar skeletal structures do, it should be noted that individuals from this line, especially as Blastoise, have been documented exhibiting significant discomfort when exposed to hot or cold temperatures for extended periods of time. Individuals from this line also possess lung structures that are significantly larger than those of comparable terrestrial chelonid Pokémon, which enable members of this line to remain submerged underwater for prolonged periods, with individuals at rest observed to be capable of remaining underwater at rest for hours at a time. Most individuals appear to have what appears to be a “fight or flight” response that enables wounded individuals to expel larger amounts of water when fatigued or wounded. A small number of individuals do not appear to expel notably larger amounts of water even under this response, though appear to exhibit mild gradual regeneration capability when in prolonged contact with sources of water.
HabitatPopulations of creatures from this line have been recorded living sporadically within both freshwater and marine environments, with present studies suggesting a significant, albeit low, concentration of populations in and around the Kanto region. Individuals living in marine environments are known to exhibit migratory behaviors, with similar behaviors exhibited on a smaller scale by some freshwater populations, and a handful of populations exhibiting patterns which involve migration to different freshwater regions via marine travel. Known migratory patterns among marine individuals include migrations to Sinnoh during that region’s warm months, and to more inviting estuaries and other regions off the shores of Kanto, Hoenn, and the Sevii Islands during the colder months in Sinnoh. Migratory individuals also appear to display reactions to local sunlight intensity, with individuals encountered off the shores of Sinnoh known to display slightly paler hides than individuals encountered in waters off Kanto, Hoenn, and the Sevii Islands.
DietMembers of this line possess an omnivorous diet, which features a heavy carnivorous slant in the younger forms that transitions into a slight herbivorous slant in the final form. All stages of this line are known to regularly exhibit piscivorous and molluscivorous behaviors and to feed upon aquatic arthropods, which appears to have a connection with the concentration of metallic compounds within later forms of this line. Individuals from this line are also known to feed on other creatures, with individuals living in rivers and lakes observed to feed on terrestrial arthropodal prey, and when conventional prey sources are less common, other terrestrial creatures such as Rattata. Individuals are also known to occasionally down avian prey with bursts of water, though this behavior is rare outside of a population of creatures from this line living around the Sevii Islands. Individuals from this line have been recorded regularly consuming plant matter encountered within both terrestrial and aquatic environments, which forms the bulk of its final stage’s diet. It should be noted that members of this line in captivity often enjoy the opportunity to hunt live prey, which tends to be more pronounced among individuals from the first two morphs. It should be noted that for these first forms, this experience also often provides a useful opportunity to practice combative techniques in a controlled setting.
HazardsAlthough this line’s reputation for being docile and playful creatures is not wholly undeserved, it should be noted that despite this, Squirtle and its evolutions still pose formidable hazards to imprudent or otherwise incompetent trainers. As with any other Pokémon, attacks by aggravated, frightened, or simply overly playful members of this line pose a number of dangers to trainers. All stages of this line are known to utilize tackling attacks, which are capable of leaving bruises and in some cases break bones, effects which grow dramatically more pronounced when attacked by individuals from the dramatically bulkier and stronger later forms. All stages also utilize attacks which incorporate the expulsion of pressurized jets of water. Although attacks by Squirtle are unlikely to cause significant bodily harm, it should be noted that attacks by its elder counterparts can be dramatically stronger, with some individual Blastoise recorded as being capable of punching holes into metal sheets with some techniques of this nature. Last, but perhaps most significantly, all stages of this line are capable of utilizing biting attacks. Biting attacks from even the first form can be serious enough to merit medical attention, and it should be kept in mind that attacks of this nature from this line’s later forms can be immensely stronger than those utilized by its base form. In captivity, members of this line also pose a number of more mundane hazards in the hands of incompetent trainers. Most of these hazards stem from this line’s natural appreciation for rough play, which although well-suited for a creature clad in a durable shell, can lead to visits to the emergency room if not properly controlled. As with other Pokémon, one should also care to ensure that one’s Squirtle is properly socialized with other human beings, as well-intentioned displays of aggression on behalf of protecting one’s trainers can quickly spiral into severe incidents with this line’s later stages.
CourtingAll stages of the Squirtle line have been observed to be capable of becoming fertile and reproducing, though reproduction is almost always observed amongst individuals from the Wartortle and Blastoise stages in the wild. Courtship amongst wild individuals is typically initiated by males, who will attempt to woo females by gifts of food and prolonged interaction, in an attempt to secure her favor. In more prolonged courtship, male suitors will often attempt to weed each other out via a series of ritualized battles to assert dominance, in which two members of this line will attempt to flip each other over onto their shells. Although due to their armored anatomy, such matches generally end with little beyond the wounded pride of the defeated suitors, it should be noted that it is not unknown for such matches to rapidly escalate into vicious out-and-out brawls between suitors. After selecting a suitor, the female and male will mate, and remain together until the shells of their young have fully formed. Unions amongst creatures from this line generally last for single cycles, though occasional subversions to this pattern have been noted. Individuals from this line are known to be capable of mating with a number of other creatures outside their immediate line, though this practice is rarely recorded outside of captivity.
Social StructureFemale members of this line lay clutches that are partially buried in earth, and exposed to the underside of the female’s shell for incubatory purposes. Clutches vary significantly with an individual’s stage, what few Squirtle that have been recorded reproducing in the wild have as of present never been recorded laying clutches of more than one egg, wild Wartortle are known to lay clutches of 1-3 eggs, and wild Blastoise have been recorded laying clutches containing up to 8 eggs. Eggs of creatures from this line appear to have gender ratios heavily influenced by discrete temperature variations encountered during incubation, with gender ratio among eggs incubated in captivity typically averaging 7 males for every female. After hatching, a female’s young will be guarded and provided assistance in hunting for food until the top portion of their shells fully form, by which time the offspring will generally be 60-70% of their mother’s size, a process which typically takes less than 3 months. After this point, offspring are left to fend for themselves, though members of this line are known to maintain loose familial ties well after a young Squirtle’s shell fully forms. In the wild, creatures from this line appear to organize themselves into loosely structured groups that are typically organized hierarchically by age (though in some rare cases, groups with hierarchies determined by strength have been recorded) that periodically split when groups grow too large or food grows too scarce. Group sizes vary by environment, with groups living in freshwater environments seldom having over 30 individuals excluding offspring that are still dependent upon their parents and groups in marine environments seldom including less than 50 individuals including such offspring, though rarely including over 100 individuals excluding offspring.
In Human SocietyHistorically, Squirtle and its evolutions have enjoyed extremely positive depictions within human folklore. In traditional narratives, Squirtle are typically depicted as being docile and playful, with the latter two stages enjoying a further association with sagely qualities. Squirtle historically served roles in emergency services in historical society, with bands of captive members of this line appearing to serve in orders akin to modern firefighting brigades and lifeguards, roles that they continue to assume within modern society. Unsurprisingly, Squirtle continues to enjoy a massive presence in human media, including in a wide variety of works targeting children. Examples of such media include a long-running collection of morning cartoon series revolving around a band of martial artist Squirtle acting as agents of justice, the use of Squirtle in a modern parable regarding resisting authoritarianism within a work by a much-celebrated children’s book author, and as the mayor of a town populated by sentient Pokémon within a series of social simulation video games. A handful of less sympathetic depictions of creatures from this line exist, including the use of creatures from this line as common enemies in a truly gargantuan series of platforming games and its various spin-offs.