Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyThe Totodile line is notable for its incredibly powerful jaws— Feraligatr in particular is commonly believed to possess the strongest bite of any Pokémon in the world. The species possesses specialized muscles that allow it to lock its jaw into place, preventing struggling prey from escaping their deadly grasp. The power of Feraligatr's jaws is such that the sole imagery of the crocodilian standing before an opponent showcasing their jaws is enough to trigger fear and intimidation responses not unlike those caused by, for example, the Ekans species. This species's red ridges are believed to help in regulating the creature’s body temperature. They are present in three groupings in the head, spine and tail; as the Pokémon grows to its final stage, the ridges of the head fuse to form an easily recognizable crest, and, unlike the spikes of the spine and tail, the edges of the head crest become curved backwards. A trait shared by the other water-type Pokémon usually handed over as starters is a special method of empowering dubbed "Torrent" because of its effect. When a Totodile or evolution grows weaker, they start focusing their natural aura and exerting much more power to counter the threat they are facing; the combination of these factors allows them to manipulate nearby bodies of water or to extract water from their immediate surroundings to empower their own attacks. A few specimens of this evolutionary line exhibit another, rarely observed battle trait that is present in Pokémon such as Darmanitan and, more rarely, on Pokémon such as Nidoqueen and Makuhita as well. These Pokémon transfer some of their elemental manipulation power to assist and empower their muscular strength; as a result, their physical attacks become more powerful, a display of sheer force, but the faster, rougher and less technical fighting style that results from this prevent their attacks from materializing their secondary effects. Yet some Feraligatr can exercise the inverse effect. As they become more experienced in elemental and weather manipulation, they learn to assume stances and mental states that allow them to exude elemental manipulation aura more easily. It has been observed that some Trainers's Feraligatr who have spent years practising Rain Dance have internalized the weather manipulation in this way to the point that they can start inducing this ability on the battlefield merely by assuming a slightly different battle stance. Finally, in all morphs the female is up to 25% larger (and deadlier) than the male.
NamingThe binomes for this species were developed by a researcher named Sullen F. The term "impiger", while directly translating to "dilligent", also carries the connotation of "eager", as the basic morphs usually are. The final morph's term, "deimophobos", combines two terms related to fear and express the most common and expected response upon meeting members of this morph, even among other wild populations. The last morph's technical name is "Feraligator". However, as it also happened with Victreebell, the tremendous limitations of early "iPhokéx" products, pushed upon researchers by commercial interests, and the easy escision of the "o" in common speech (as with the "l" in Victreebell) caused the name to be recorded and pronounced as "Feraligatr", a practice that has extended with time to the point it even appears as such in official catalogs, thus becoming a de facto standard.
HabitatAll members of this line tend to live in rivers and lakes near forests, favouring swampy terrains and meanders right by forestline thickets. Feraligatr spends its time closer to the sea, living in rivers which feature plenty of sand and rocks to sun themselves on. Some Feraligatr, better adapted to saline water, may swim out to the sea occasionally to hunt, but will generally stay close to land. It is presumed that several colonies of slightly darker than normal Feraligatr live on the extense beaches and semi-saline swamps in the lands south of Unova. The Croconaw stage also exhibits some specific regional morphisms that are unexplained as of yet. During a period of time previous to the reengineering of the Kanjoh Magnet Train, entire families of the Johtoan crocodiles could be found that did not fully developed the head crest, resulting in a head with two crests preceded by a slanted protuberance◊. This trait was not exhibited by the other members of their evolutive family. Small differences in shading have been observed in higher morphs that have been attributed to the distribution of their geographical habitats. In particular, Unovan Croconaw and Feraligatr showcase markedly lighter spikes, and also a softer scales tone, than the Johtoan morphs, who themselves have exhibited strong decoloration of spikes and recoloration of their chevron and bands when compared to far older observations. In the case of the Unovan 'diles, this difference in shading is theorized to assist them in hunting their prey while underwater, as even though this evolutionary line specializes in cross-waterline sniping, it is a bit difficult to wade towards your prey completely unnoticed when you have a markedly red spike on your head. It has also been suggested that the shading differences in scales are also dependent on the absorption of chemicals present in regions with denser foliages.
LocomotionAll morphs are capable of standing and walking upright, but drop to all fours when an extra burst of speed is needed; Croconaw and Feraligatr exhibit this behaviour more often due to their larger sizes making it harder to move on land. In water, all morphs tuck their feet to their sides and propel themselves with their forearms and tail. They are much faster at swimming than moving around on land. While Totodile and Croconaw are able to stand upright, Feraligatr has become too massive for its spine to take such a strain and so it spends most of its time on all fours when not in the water. Despite this, it moves very quickly when crawling, able to put on sudden bursts of speed that belie its bulk. Provided strong enough footing, a Feraligatr can switch between quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion fast enough to take on any nearby prey by surprise, which is one of the reasons roaming Trainers are strongly advised to NOT pay attention to Totodile nests near the water.
DietTypically freshwater fish and insects, along with the occasional mammal. Older specimens such as Croconaw and Feraligatr use their powerful jaws to crack open the shells of Squirtle, Corphish, Shellder and similar aquatic Pokémon. They will occasionally surge out of the water in order to catch drinking Stantler and other large mammals. The later stages rely on biting and chewing meat, bark and other rough objects that they find to both clean their teeth and keep them sharp, so Trainers are advised to regularly feed them from a meatstore. Letting them chew on a controlled manner also sooths them down, as it helps them assert their own prowess while limiting damage to others. Partner Pokémon with regenerating shells can also help in this respect.
Battle AbilityAs bipedal Pokémon with tough body constitution, members of this line easily specialize in short-range combat. While in this respect Totodile is more or less limited to scratching and biting, as it evolves to its final stage the added body mass and growth of its limbs provides the final morph with tremendous physical power enough to turn a strong grasp into a lethal grip with only a little pushing if required. It is telling that Feraligar has been observed and studied during such events as Sumo competitions, and in certain elite battle circles some of then have even been seen using advanced moves such as Submission to lock their opponent with their jaws and arms and then rolling around with them, their sheer weight and body roughness causing more damage. When battling on land, a Feraligatr needs to make his way towards the opponent to be most effective. Once at a short enough distance, a various range of techniques can be tossed at the foe, with almost unstoppable tenacity. Added to the already notable power of their jaws, Feraligatr can take advantage of various physical strategies and learn various moves. Their arms and claws are strong enough that they can slash and tear at their opponent, yet at the same time versatile enough to be imbued with Ghost or Dragon elemental power, or even to handle objects to fling or rub and grasp at a nearby opponent to reach their weak points. Some bloodlines of this species have even been observed ingesting ore (or silverware) in an attempt to specialize their clawing attacks with Steel-type traits from other Pokémon. Their lower body does not fall behind in battle. With strong legs capable of explosive energy bursting, they can gain incredible Agility on land for short periods of time, and they can also sustain the enormous energy load required for consistent usage of extreme attacks such as Giga Impact. Their tail can be also used to slash and swipe at the opponent, and even to unleash and redirect Water during some attacks. In water they are also dangerous, not only because of their short-range battle ability, but because of their highly adapted body that allows them to not only traverse water but also to propel it as a means of attack. Among the highest displays of such ability, some Feraligatr have been shown to propel literal waves of water with a speed, frequency and strength specifically tuned to disperse kinetic energy, and thus damage, beyond their opponent's outermost skin layers of protections, in this way managing to bypass the type resistances against Water. It is also possible for experienced enough members of this evolutionary line to manipulate Water and energy while still within their bodies so as to add an element of water to their already powerful biting attacks; with this they cloak their fangs in water, the swirling waters only adding to the sheer damage caused by the immense force of Feraligatr's jaw strength and sharp teeth. The resulting move is unofficially dubbed Hydro Crunch.
HazardsBecause of their thick, scaly hides and focus on teeth, nipping one's parents is a sign of affection amongst Totodile and its evolutions. As such, they do not understand that other creatures find being bitten excruciatingly painful, and thus all variants have a marked tendency to sink their teeth into anything and everything, hanging fast to their victims with remarkable tenacity. Even Totodile’s fangs can seriously mangle flesh and bone and cause extensive damage considering that this line's upper teeths have small canals that assist in the injection of a freezing agent secreted by two small cryosac under the Pokémon's eyes. Croconaw, being the adolescent stage, have been show to try a good variety of different tricks to specialize their hunting. Some Croconaw seem to have developed their biting technique by mixing it with a form of Aura, holding the prey with their jaws in a way that renders it unable to escape. A nastier varient of this move is capable of rendering the foe incapable of acting entirely. Feraligatr are especially dangerous as their jaws are powerful enough to crush rocks into powder; when combined with their extremely territorial nature and overprotective attitude towards their offspring, they can do considerably worse to human bones. Should you happen upon a nest of Totodile in the wild, restrain your desire to coo and pet the creatures and stay away from them; you can be sure that the mother is watching from within the bushes nearby, and she will not be happy if you touch her babies [to be toned down]. While rare, there are reports of a subspecies of Feraligatr that has been scientifically altered to the point of gaining the Electric Type; dubbed with the suffix δ ("Delta") as with other Pokémon who underwent this procedure in the Holon Region, these Feraligatr are able to generate a sort of "Battle Aura" that strengthens allied Pokémon-δ. [Incorporate the Roll of Death]
CourtingFeraligatr congregate once every two years at deltas in order to hold mating contests. Because the overwhelming majority of the species is male, there is often stiff competition between bulls to attract a mate. Such courtship displays have been observed to include seeing who can stay upright the longest, knocking over boulders and biting at tree trunks to see who has the strongest forelimbs and jaws, and sprinting on all fours to determine who is the fastest. Right before and during such events, members of the highest morph reunite in lakes and other bodies of water to perform a communal mate searching process. Before attempting competition, a male might decide to broadcast his availability by partially submerging his body then grumbling and bellowing, in a fashion that causes the water right above them to sprinkle. The infrasonic waves cast by this motion can travel for incredibly long distances in water. This technique has been jokingly been dubbed as a mini-"Rain Dance". Should two or more bulls engage in battle repeatedly and be tied in all of these events, they will attempt to intimidate each other by opening their mouths and hissing in an overt threat display. Should neither bull back down, they will resort to a duel, grappling with each other and biting to establish superiority. These duels often become extremely violent, and it is not unheard of for the loser to be maimed or even killed. Once a victor has emerged, the bull and the female meet; if there is foreplay, it consists of such things as the female trying to drown the male, or he trying to blow bubbles below her. After that they and swim off to do their business and build a nest for the eggs, of which there are typically two-to-ten. Exactly how the parents mated is not certain, and it is not wise to find out, for the only thing worse than an angry Feraligatr is an angry Feraligatr in heat.
Social StructureFeraligatr are solitary, monogamous reptiles that mate for a single breeding season before going their separate ways. The female is then given the sole responsibility of brooding the eggs and watching over the infant Totodiles for the next eighteen months, by which point they will have become young adults (i.e., Croconaw). During this time the mother is particularly protective of her offspring, carrying them down to the water in her jaws, teaching them how to swim and utilize their water bladders, feeding them and teaching them how to catch prey, and maintaining a constant vigil over the infants while they sleep. Once her babies have matured to this point, however, the mother loses all maternal instinct for her offspring and drives them off, seeing them as both threats to her territory and a potential meal. The Croconaw will seek out others of their kind, often crossing the land to do so, and form bands of three-to-five in order to hunt for food. These bands dissolve once the Croconaw reach adulthood and become Feraligatr.
Surrounding Controversy[Incorporate Status as Johto Starters] While Totodile are considered playful and cute Pokémon by some people, even when taking their powerful bite into consideration, Croconaw and Feraligatr do not exactly enjoy the same appreciation. Even after the explosive growth of the "Pokémon walk-along" trend that was recently born in the Kanjoh region, the evolved members of this line have been seen with distrust, and some storeowners have denied access to these Pokémon. This also happened with the "People vs. Amity Square" civil action in the region of Sinnoh, when the staff of the Park unilaterally decided to deny walking rights, and in some cases entrance, to Pokémon that the city's Contest judges didn't declare as "cute," which due to a misunderstanding included most if not all non-baby Pokémon. The situation escalated when a recording was uploaded to a well-known video site where, confronted by several Trainers of evolved League-approved Starters, one of the Contest Judges categorized several Pokémon including Feraligatr with terms such as "horribly big", "ugly" and "scaly", thus leading to the civil action after which the Park and the Contest Judges were forced to publicly apologize to the Trainer community. After this more Pokémon, including the fully evolved Starters, were granted entrance and exploration privileges to the park.
Originally written by Sullen Frog. Editmastering by Silent Reverence. Article History: