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Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Gligar [# 207] Scorpiovolans venenatis
- Gliscor [# 427] Scorpiovolans terribilis
The Pokémon of the Gligar line are venomous creatures that share a set of behavioral patterns, the use of gliding as opposed to true flight for aerial movement, and a general physiology possessing a curious confluence of physiological features that are consistent with those of vertebrate and non-vertebrate organisms.
The initial form, Scorpiovolans venenatis
, more commonly known by its colloquial name, Gligar, is a four-limbed, arthropod-like, bipedal creature that typically stands 110 centimeters tall upright and weighs just under 30 kilograms (though it should be noted that due to a series of data recording errors, many older Pokédexes record Gligar's average weight as being just under 65
kilograms), with arms terminating with pincers and a prominent, proportionally narrow segmented tail terminating in a venomous stinger, with stingers among male Gligar proportionally larger relative to their body than among female Gligar, which are typically larger than their male counterparts. Gligar also possess prominent membranes incorporating a rigid structure topped with a spike occupying a region between its arms and legs that enable it to glide. Other notable features of Gligar's physiology include a chitinous exoskeleton with a flexible external film covering the regions of its exoskeleton comprising its head, the front and back of its thorax and abdomen, its lower arms, and its upper legs, giving a contiguous, fleshy appearance, feet terminating in a single "toe" spike, structures analogous to ears that, strangely for a Pokémon with an exoskeleton, are housed in two prominent and movable spike-like structures on the top of Gligar's head, two prominent eyes with refractive corneas and white sclera, and a mouth structure with features rare among Pokémon with exoskeletons, including the presence of true teeth, two particularly prominent teeth protrude from Gligar's upper "jaw."
Gligar is known to possess a number of dramatically divergent phenotypes, which are differentiated by the color of their exoskeletons, the color of the front portion of their membranes, and of its "toe" spikes and the spikes capping its membranes. The four most commonly observed phenotypes among Gligar include a phenotype exhibiting a violet exoskeleton, sky blue forward regions of its membrane, and white membrane and toe spikes, a phenotype with a darker violet exoskeleton, grayish-blue forward membranes, and white membrane and toe spikes that is most commonly observed among populations of Gligar in Sinnoh, a phenotype with a dark pink exoskeleton, toe and membrane spikes sharing the same color as the rest of the exoskeleton, and teal membranes most frequently observed among Johto Gligar, and a phenotype with grayish-pink exoskeletons, alike-colored spikes, and moderately dark blue forward membranes that is most commonly seen among Unova Gligar.
The second and presumably final form, S. terribilis
, more commonly known as Gliscor, is a creature of similar physiology to the Gligar that stands approximately 2 meters tall upright and typically weighs a scant 10 kilograms more than its comparatively pudgy younger counterpart. One of the most notable alterations in Gliscor's physiology after its evolution from Gligar is the alteration of its gliding membranes, which attaches to the rest of its body at a structure along the back of its thorax, filling the gaps between 7 rigid structures that fan outward radially, giving an impression not wholly unlike that of a cape. Another notable alteration is the change of Gligar's tail stinger into a pincer-like structure with poisonous barbs positioned along their inward surface, which enables Gliscor to grab objects with this structure. Gliscor also possess larger regions of their bodies with exposed sections of their exoskeleton than their younger counterparts, with a film analogous to that of its younger counterpart's only covering regions including its head, its vaguely maw-shaped thorax, and a region encompassing its legs, portions of its lower body, and the base of its tail. Gliscor's head structure also changes dramatically with evolution, with the emergence of two prominent "ear" structures positioned in an obtuse angle on its head with an overall appearance akin to that of ears possessed by creatures such as Zubat, the presence of eyes with vivid yellow sclera as opposed to the white sclera its younger form possessed, and an upper jaw lined with exposed fangs.
The coloration of these regions also changes significantly, with Gliscor possessing dark gray membranes, red exoskeleton segments on its narrow upper region of its abdomen, along its arms, and within the interior of its "ears," with the other regions of its body covered in violet segments that are either exposed or covered in like-colored film. Unlike Gligar, Gliscor does not appear to exhibit dramatic differences in phenotype among individuals.
As with other Pokémon, Gligar and Gliscor exhibit mutant phenotypes on rare occasions, and are highly sought after among some training circles. Among Gligar, mutant phenotypes curiously appear to be tied to normal phenotypes, and are more homogeneous than their non-mutant counterparts. The most commonly observed mutant phenotype is one that gives its possessor a pale, grayish blue exoskeleton with darker blue membranes and white toe and membrane spikes, with another mutant phenotype most commonly recorded in Johto that is virtually identical, save for the coloration of its possessor's toes and membrane spikes, a third mutant phenotype that resembles a darker version of the aforementioned second mutant phenotype is also known to exist, and is most commonly recorded among Gligar in populations in Unova. Gliscor carrying this mutant phenotype possess black membranes, and yellow and bright blue regions corresponding to the red and violet regions respectively possessed by normal Gliscor.
Gligar and Gliscor possess a number of physiological features that have caused many scientists to hypothesize that the creatures are either a significant biological intermediary among Pokémon, or an immediate descendant of such an intermediary. The most notable of these features is the amalgamation of traits that are associated with both vertebrate and invertebrate Pokémon. Features that Gligar and Gliscor share with vertebrate Pokémon include a complex structures analogous to ears, hollow true teeth that regenerate rapidly if broken off, a circulatory system with true lungs and a chambered heart, and eyes with refractive corneas and nictitating membranes from the former. At the same time, Gligar and Gliscor also possesses an exoskeleton with segments containing vestigial spiracles, distinctly arachnid tails with poison glands, and have young that hatch from eggs with a structure that is most commonly seen among invertebrate Pokémon.
Although Gligar and Gliscor are incapable of true flight, they are known to possess gliding capabilities that give them a degree of aerial mobility that rivals that possessed by Pokémon capable of true flight. Both Gligar and Gliscor are capable of remaining airborne for hours at a time, exploiting updrafts and air currents to keep themselves aloft after setting off from a sufficiently high ledge or perch. In situations where such high locations are not readily available, Gligar and Gliscor have occasionally been observed to begin gliding from running starts in order to compensate for a lack of vertical clearance.
Both Gligar and Gliscor are capable of emitting and hearing ultrasonic calls, which is utilized for purposes of echolocation by these creatures. This echolocation appears to augment already-competent eyesight, which allows these creatures to be aware of objects outside of their immediate field of vision and engage in long-distance navigation. It should be noted that along with this ability, Gligar and Gliscor also possess a heightened sensitivity to noises, which can cause these creatures to become disoriented when attempting to navigate in low-light environments with large amounts of ambient noise.
A notable facet of Gliscor's biology is the presence of an organ more commonly known as an "omni-sac" as part of its overall biology, which although usually dormant among wild Gliscor, enables it to execute techniques associated with Fire, Ice, and Electric-Type Pokémon. Gliscor's omni-sac consists of a two-chambered structure with a series of ports to its fangs, one containing fluids that are volatile in the presence of air, and one containing a fluid capable of retaining unusually cold temperatures for extended periods of time, with an amount of connective fluid with a high specific heat capacity and free electric charges incorporated into it, all three of which can be expelled through a Gliscor's hollow fangs with sufficient training.
Like a number of other Pokémon, Gligar possesses a method of evolution that is tied to hormonal levels within its body. Typically, these hormones accumulate exceedingly slowly with time, and most wild Gligar will live out the duration of their lives without ever accumulating a hormonal level high enough to facilitate evolution. Curiously, the rate at which these hormones accumulate appears to greatly accelerate when an individual is exposed to a small number of hormones that accumulate within a Gliscor's body. One of the regions in Gliscor's body where such hormones accumulate is in the pulp of a small number of its teeth, which remain present for extended periods of time even after such a tooth falls out. These teeth, occasionally referred to as "Razor Fangs" are frequently used as evolutionary aids both among wild Gligar and trainers of captive Gligar, though it should be noted that the process through which the hormones in such a fang are extracted to accelerate a Gligar's evolution invariably either result in the destruction of the fang (e.g. crushing the fang for the preparation of balms) or leave quantities of hormones behind that are too low to be successfully used to accelerate another individual's evolutionary process. Curiously, it appears that even with sufficient hormonal levels, Gligar are incapable of evolving into Gliscor in environments with high amounts of light, a phenomenon that remains of interest to biologists.
Three distinct "sub-morphs" of Gligar and Gliscor are known to exist, each with a minor variation in its physiology. One sub-morph is known to possess unusually durable regions of exoskeleton on its pedipalps. Curiously, individuals with these unusually durable pincers also appear to often possess a fairly poor grasp of their own strength. Another sub-morph possesses thicker nictitating membranes over its eyes, which enables it to more easily observe its surroundings in environments such as sandstorms. These individuals also often appear to possess what appears to be an unusually quick response reflex to stimuli. The third, and rarest sub-morph, has immunity to all known biological toxins as a Gligar. When such individuals evolve, they also develop concentrations of bodily enzymes that appear to metabolize foreign toxins that are present in their bodies.
As their physiology and their relative resistance to cold temperatures (though it should be noted that both Gligar and Gliscor fare exceedingly poorly when exposed to abrupt bursts of cold temperature and sustained exposure to temperatures below 273K) would suggest, Gligar and Gliscor dwell primarily within mountain ranges and in more rugged windward valleys. Swarms of Gligar and Gliscor typically make nests in alcoves along cliff edges and faces, which enable them to have enough clearance to enter a successful glide and provide some protection against wind chill, and periodically leave their nests to make new ones elsewhere when prey becomes too scarce or environmental conditions become non-conducive to continued habitation. Stable populations of Gligar are known to exist in the area surrounding Johto's Route 45, in a range of areas near Mount Coronet and Stark Mountain in Sinnoh, in the areas within the immediate vicinity of Unova's Route 11 and Route 15, and an introduced population currently resides in the Hoenn Safari Zone and its immediate surroundings. For presently unknown reasons, it appears that there are no stable populations of Gliscor outside of diminutive populations that have been recorded along Unova's Route 11 and Route 15.
Despite their mountainous natural range, swarms of Gligar are known to be periodically blown into urban environments near their natural habitat, and reside there due to disorientation from the distortion of their calls used for echolocation by buildings and large levels of ambient noise. Although Gligar has demonstrated itself to be theoretically capable of long-term survival in urban settings, such swarms have been found to generally be too much of a public nuisance to tolerate, and often need to be forcibly expelled.
The members of the Gligar line possess an omnivorous diet with a heavily carnivorous slant, especially after evolution. Members of this line do not appear to have a clear-cut preference for certain prey organisms, and will readily feed on any creature with a sufficiently thin hide that is small enough to be subdued and carried back to its nest. Gligar and Gliscor also appear to feed upon the eggs of other Pokémon, and will periodically raid other creatures' nests. Members of this line typically engage in aerial ambush hunting or otherwise gather food alone a short distance from the other members of their swarm, though group hunting and foraging behaviors are occasionally recorded among Gligar in exceptionally large swarms.
Although Gligar and Gliscor have recently begun to be seen as creatures suitable for relatively inexperienced trainers after untold centuries of vilification in human society, it is important to remember that the members of this line are by no means creatures to take lightly. Both Gligar and Gliscor are venomous creatures, and while their venom is usually not fatal to human beings, being stung by a Gligar or a Gliscor is still an incredibly painful experience, and injections of particularly large quantities of venom, especially in incidents involving young children, may necessitate a trip to the hospital.
Both Gligar and Gliscor frequently employ biting attacks, bites from the former will easily leave puncture wounds that will need to be sterilized, while bites from the latter are capable of severing digits, leaving deep gashes, and leaving fractures in bones. Both Gligar and Gliscor also utilize offensive techniques utilizing their pedipalps, which range from bludgeoning assailants, raking opponents with open pincers, and delivering crushing squeezes with their claws, which depending upon the technique used and the strength of the individual, can result in anything from bruising, deep gashes, internal bleeding, to multiple fractures in major bones. One particularly hazardous technique utilized by some Gligar and Gliscor is to apply a crushing squeeze to an opponent's windpipe, and then make an abrupt jerking motion downward. Although such an attack is often slow to be executed and often easily avoidable, it should be noted that being hit by a successful attack of this nature by a wild individual (or a captive individual that has not been fully trained to engage restraint in battle) is capable of inflicting severe neck wounds. Gligar and Gliscor also have been known to utilize tackling techniques, which are capable of anything from causing moderate bruising to broken bones and massive internal bleeding.
Gligar and Gliscor also present a number of more mundane hazards to inexperienced or otherwise incompetent trainers. One of the most notable hazards arises from the sensitivity to noise that members of this line possess, which makes Gligar and Gliscor easy to startle or otherwise irritate via sudden loud noises, which can lead to poorly-trained individuals lashing out at nearby persons or Pokémon. Other hazards arise from attempts by members of this line to display affection to their trainers. A practice among some captive Gligar and Gliscor is to launch themselves at their trainers in a friendly embrace. Although seen in some circles as endearing, it should be noted that with an average mature weight of approximately 30 and 40 kilograms respectively, a Gligar or a Gliscor moving at high speed will have a significant degree of momentum, and will easily knock over even grown adults, which can easily result in concussions from a simple fall onto a hard surface.
Both members of the Gligar lines are capable of mating, and both have been recorded mating regularly within wild settings. Among Gligar and Gliscor, courtship typically involves members of a common swarm, although individuals have also been recorded both making and entertaining offers of courtship to Gligar and Gliscor from other swarms. Courtship is typically initiated by male Gligar and Gliscor, who will attempt to secure a potential mate's affections by displays of complex displays of mastery of gliding techniques. In more heated contexts, courtship sometimes revolves around aerial battles amongst suitors involving attempts by rival suitors to swat each other out of the air through tackles and attacks with their pincers. Injuries from these battles are generally not serious, though grievous wounds and deaths are known to sporadically occur. After picking a suitor, a female and male member from this line will mate at the female's nest, and then separate. Female Gligar and Gliscor typically lay clutches of 1-2 eggs, with 2-egg clutches more common among female Gliscor than among female Gligar, although clutch sizes of up to 4 eggs have been recorded on an infrequent basis. Gligar and Gliscor are known to be capable of mating with a variety of Pokémon outside of their immediate line, though this behavior is virtually unheard of among wild individuals.
Female Gligar and Gliscor typically care for their young up until a point shortly after a point where they are capable of gliding on their own, after which they are left to care for themselves as members of their swarm. During this period of time, a female member of this line will ferry her offspring about by allowing it to latch onto the front of her body rather than leave them in a nest, a behavior that is typically only exhibited among Gligar and Gliscor with young when venturing off to hunt. As her offspring grow, a female Gligar will provide sustenance for her young, and after her young have developed some gliding skills, will begin to teach her young how to hunt. This process typically concludes smoothly within the first 8 months of a Gligar's life, though females with young that are slow to develop their gliding skills have seldom been observed caring for young after their first year, regardless of their gliding capabilities.
Gligar and Gliscor typically live in small swarms of 10-20 individuals with strength-based pecking orders that are typically led by a Gliscor or particularly strong Gligar, with larger swarms, including "super-swarms" of over 100 individuals, occasionally being recorded. These swarms generally lack a familial element, with members regularly leaving or joining depending upon the relative availability of food, though it should be noted that younger Gligar tend to gravitate towards swarms containing siblings or acquaintances. Despite this general lack of familial elements among swarms, it should be noted that swarms are often fiercely protective of their members, and have been frequently recorded attacking creatures assailing one of its members en masse.
In some regions, a small number of Gligar swarms have been recorded regularly cleaning the hides of Pokémon such as Onix, Rhydon, and Pupitar. This cleaning behavior appears to be symbiotic, as the Pokémon cleaned by these swarms have irritants lodged in portions of their hides, and appear to reciprocate these gestures by protecting Gligar swarms that engage in such behavior, which appears to further serve to stem competition for habitat and resources between the populations of Gligar and other organisms affected. This behavior appears to be most common among swarms dwelling in Unova and in some regions of Sinnoh.
An unfortunate behavioral quirk among some Gligar swarms, especially among populations with heavily skewed phenotype distributions, is the maltreatment of individuals with phenotypes that diverge from that of the swarm's prevailing norms. In many Gligar swarms, members with phenotypes that dramatically diverge from the swarm's norm occupy lower positions on the swarm's pecking order than comparable individuals with more "normal" phenotypes, and are often harassed, if not outright ostracized their peers. This phenomena appears to be more pronounced among individuals carrying mutant phenotypes, who suffer from markedly higher mortality rates than their non-mutant peers. An uncommon phenomena is the formation of entire swarms of "outcasts" in regions with large Gligar and Gliscor populations, which are known to researchers to possess markedly higher distributions of Gligar and Gliscor with mutant phenotypes than normal swarms, with a tiny number of historically recorded "outcast" swarms composed primarily of carriers of mutant phenotypes.
In Human Society
Despite their often playful temperaments, the relative ease with which individuals from this line can be trained, and their general lack of antagonism towards creatures not perceived as viable prey or as aggressors, Gligar and Gliscor have only recently begun to cultivate a positive perception in human society. Historically, Gligar and Gliscor were maligned as cruel and heartless creatures, with many folktales telling of the suffering inflicted by swarms of these creatures, with one particularly venomous parable telling of a trainer who nursed a Gliscor near death back to health, only to meet an untimely demise at the claws of the creature that he trusted. Gligar and Gliscor only appear to have begun to shake this often libellous depiction with the emergence of Gligar and eventually Gliscor as sympathetic, albeit belligerent, figures in some media beginning roughly three decades ago, including in a prominent superhero franchise that saw its inception during this era.
edited 16th May '11 8:39:13 AM by TracerBullet