Morphs [Oak Catalog #]/[Old/New Juniper Catalog #]
Bouffalant [#626]/[#132/#269] - Bison impetus
Physical DescriptionBison impetus, or Bouffalant, is a large bovine Pokémon that when fully grown, measures roughly between 1.5 and 1.65 meters tall at the withers, and weighs 90-120 kilograms on average, though one recorded individual was 1.8 meters tall and weighed 138.7 kilograms. Their bodies are covered in a shaggy brown hide that ends at the knees and does not cover its face, along with a short tufted tail. All four of its beige-coloured legs end in a single grey hoof. However, the most striking feature is the large dark-coloured grey-brown afro which obscures a good portion of its head, leaving only its short, broad, grey-tipped muzzle, a pair of yellow eyes which are only partially obscured and a pair of large yellowish horns with two golden ring-like growths on each horn. The afro is made of incredibly tough, wiry, curled strands of fur and functions as an effective buffer to reduce damage to the individual Bouffalant from impacts while charging.
Notable BiologyBouffalant are classified as Normal-Type Pokémon. Like the similar Tauros, they have an omni-sac, although it is relatively underdeveloped in comparison to Tauros' and they lack even the capability to shoot fire, ice or electricity in the form of the techniques known as 'Fire Blast', 'Blizzard' and 'Thunder'. However, they make up for this with the ability to build up static electricity in their fur and use it in the form of the 'Wild Charge' technique, which is helped by the omni-sac, as small as it may be. The omni-sac also allows Bouffalant to channel vemon through grooved channels in their horns and inject it into a potential attacker in the form of the 'Poison Jab' technique. Bouffalant are slow in comparison to the distantly related Tauros, but they possess greater raw physical strength than Tauros. Additionally, they are rather sturdy, and can take both physical and ranged attacks with little faltering, owing to their afro's ability to block out the natural elements with its almost metallic quality. With their afro, they can also charge into a target or attacker, in a technique known as a 'Head Charge', which enthusiasts sometimes refer to as the 'Afro Break' maneuver. It cushions some of the impact and deals a large amount of damage, although Bouffalant are prone to recoil damage and other minor injuries from this technique.
Bouffalant have three different sub-groups with different genes which affect how they live and battle. The first and second sub-groups are relatively common, while the third is very rare. The first sub-group has a gene which makes their Head Charge maneuver much more powerful, coined as the 'Reckless' gene. This gene also applies this property to any other 'Recoil' techniques Bouffalant may learn. However, an unintentional side effect is that they are much more prone to injury, and stories have been told of severe battles where two Bouffalant fought fiercely, with the battle ending in a double fatality. The second sub-group has a gene which thickens their hide and draws nutrients from plants, allowing them an immunity to Grass-type techniques, while also allowing them to up their own attack power. This is dubbed the 'Sap Sipper' gene and makes them very dangerous for a Grass-type to encounter. The third, rare subgroup has a mutated gene, dubbed 'Soundproof', which thickens the afro and makes the hairs more tightly knit. This has a side effect which can be considered a double-edged sword, in that it impairs the hearing of the possessor of the gene. While this allows it to better face opponents that primarily use sound to disorient or defeat targets, it makes vocal communication with the Bouffalant severely difficult and sometimes impossible.
Unlike Tauros and Miltank, which are designated to a single sex each, Bouffalant can be of either sex. Male and female Bouffalant have no known visual sexual dimorphism. Additionally, even female Bouffalant have been studied producing testosterone, though in noticeably smaller amounts than the males. As with all Pokémon, some Bouffalant populations have members that exhibit a rare phenotype which alters their colouring. These Bouffalant are instead covered in a deep red hide with a slightly redder shade of beige to their legs and face. Their nose and hooves are a darker shade of gray, and their afro is closer to black than that of regular Bouffalant. Their horns are a salmon pink colour instead of yellow, and the golden ring growths are a brighter colour that resembles yellow more than gold.
HabitatBouffalant live on the edge of grasslands, close to forests, where they feed off of the grass and plants.
In their home region of Unova, they are at their most common. Bouffalant were once prevalent along Unova's Route 10, but after a landslide endangered the Route's many species and blocked off human access, they migrated to Route 23 and seem to be doing well, as the population has shown growth and they are now spotted more often. When an area is too densely packed with Bouffalant, some individuals will migrate to a small grotto on Route 9 in order to live in their own small herd.
In Hoenn, sightings of Bouffalant are extremely rare. Following the attempts to awaken the super ancient Pokémon, Bouffalant have been occasionally spotted along Hoenn's Route 113, though the stability of the population is debated as sightings have remained rare.
Bouffalant are entirely absent from the wilds of Kalos and Alola, so most people from these regions will never even see one. However, trainers from Unova or Hoenn will sometimes move to Kalos or Alola with their Pokémon, and some of these trainers have a Bouffalant. Groups of Pokémon activists have attempted to introduce this Pokémon to Kalos and Alola in the past, but after public outcry of the possibility that the ecosystems could be damaged by this move, these campaigns have not been revisited ever since.
DietBouffalant are ruminants which feed entirely on grasses and small plants, although the 'Sap Sipper' sub-population enjoys drinking tree sap because it has been shown to increase their strength.
HazardsAs with Tauros, Bouffalant are hot-tempered Pokémon that must be handled with extreme caution and care for both the handler and the Pokémon. Bouffalant can be reliable working stock and if trained right, they make good pet Pokémon which respond well to affection and grooming. However, they are still rather easy to anger, and in addition to this, they are a little heavier than Tauros. Bouffalant also do not have a known calmer population (whereas Tauros have an Alolan population which is mild-tempered), which would suggest that they are harder to tame. Injury is common and fatalities have often occurred for careless or misinformed people. Only the most skilled trainers are able to handle Bouffalant for this reason. Raising a Bouffalant from a young age makes taming them much simpler, as calves and older adolescents are easier to earn the trust of, though taming an adult is still very much possible.
Bouffalant are highly territorial creatures that will charge at anything encroaching upon their territory. Females are the most dangerous when caring for their calves, though either sex can be aggressive. Warning signs to watch out for include the Bouffalant exhaling sharply out its nose, and lowering its head. They are incredibly strong, and incidents of them charging and de-railing trains have been reported in the past. Broken bones and heavy bruising are common in unwary handlers or trespassers on their territory, with the more extreme cases resulting in multiple abrasions, damaged or severed nerves, internal bleeding or near-immediate death. Although Bouffalant appear slow and usually move lethargically when calm, they can easily outrun humans during a charge, and have been recorded running at around 55 km/h (34 mph). Accidental trampling is more dangerous with Bouffalant than Tauros, due to the former being heavier on average.
It has been discovered that Bouffalant determine who is a threat by their lack of an afro. Wearing an afro wig has been shown to confuse Bouffalant and prevent the wearer from being charged. Trainers who are less experienced with an individual are advised to wear one whenever handling a Bouffalant until it gets used to their presence. In all regions where Bouffalant are present in the wild and Bouffalant trainers have moved to, there are laws which forbid trainers under the age of 12 from owning one due to their dangerous nature, although restrictions on younger Bouffalant are to be loosened somewhat, due to their calmer temperament.
Humans training Bouffalant with the 'Reckless' gene must be even more wary of a Bouffalant's temper than usual, as if left unchecked, it can end up severely injuring or killing both the trainer and the Bouffalant. Those who possess a Bouffalant with the 'Soundproof' gene may want to find an alternate method of communicating with the individual, such as hand gestures and vibrations, as sound is rather ineffective in training these Bouffalant. When petting/grooming a Bouffalant, the trainer must realise that Bouffalant likes having the base of its horns touched if it trusts them, but will always hate having its nose touched, so caution must be exercised even during the more friendly times.
Courting and ChildrearingDuring mating season, males will compete over females. The more dominant males maintain a small harem of females for mating. Individual males will "tend" a female until allowed to mate, by following her around and chasing away rival males. The tending male will often shield a female's vision with his body, preventing her from seeing any challenging males. A challenging Bouffalant bull may roar or bellow to try and get the female's attention, and the tending bull has to roar or bellow back. Bouffalant born earlier in the breeding season are more likely to be larger and thus, more dominant as adults, whereas those born later are sub-ordinate. The older generation has a higher fertility and is thus able to produce more calves.
Instead of laying Pokémon eggs, female Bouffalant will incubate them inside their body for a period of around thirty days, and then give live birth to a single calf, though often, Pokémon breeders will extract eggs and incubate them by themselves, particularly if the female is to be producing a larger number of offspring for breeding programs. Occasionally two calves will be born. The male Bouffalant play no part in raising the offspring. At roughly 7 or 8 months, a calf is weaned, unless the Bouffalant ends up pregnant again, which results in earlier weaning. Males will leave the herd at roughly two to three years of age, whereas females of a similar age will stay in the maternal herd, and are mature enough to produce offspring of their own. Extracting the egg can be risky if you change your mind, since the mother may reject the calf when it is born outside of her, although this does not always happen. As a result, it is recommended for breeders to keep the mother separate from her young and hand-rear the young themselves.
Bouffalant are placed in the Field Egg Group which allows for interbreeding with a very large range of species, although such cases are almost never recorded outside of captivity. For example, they can breed with members of the Mareep line to have their offspring inherit the 'Cotton Guard' technique which involves building up static electrictity with their omni-sac, in areas where cotton puffs are common airborne debris. They can also learn the 'Amnesia', 'Stomp' and 'Headbutt' techniques from many different fathers, and the 'Iron Head' technique from a few other fathers. They can also notably inherit the powerful 'Skull Bash' technique from the Squirtle line. However, since the Squirtle line is in the Monster and Water 1 Egg Groups, the technique must be inherited by a member of the Rhyhorn line or Bidoof line first, since Bouffalant and the Squirtle line are not directly compatible. Bouffalant also have the capability to pass on their own moves to other Pokémon or their own Bouffalant offspring. For example, if a Bouffalant mother is taught the Iron Head technique by a move Tutor, she can pass this on to her offspring as if she had mated with a Pokémon that can learn this move naturally.
Social StructureBouffalant are nomadic creatures which travel in herds. When males leave the maternal herds, they join smaller all-male "bachelor" herds. These herds will only commingle during the summer mating season.
Both male and female Bouffalant are capable of fighting off threats, though it is usually the females and the not yet kicked out adolescent males that face potential threats, given that the calves, which attackers target, always occupy the same herd. Owing to their large size and choice of habitat, healthy adult Bouffalant are almost never preyed upon, but the young calves and sick, elderly or injured adults are at risk of predation by Gliscor, Mandibuzz and Braviary, which can attack from the air and carry off young calves. Braviary and Gliscor are especially dangerous as the immense attack power of the former and the poisonous barbs of the latter allow for easily crippled prey. To mimimize risks, the Bouffalant herd will always stick close together, with the young and elderly in the centre of the herd and the healthy adults forming a tightly-knit blockade on the edges of the herd. Male herds being attacked is an exceptionally rare occurrence, but has occasionally been recorded in the past. Reports of certain Dragon Pokémon such as Hydreigon and Salamence flying over Bouffalant habitats have been recorded numerous times, especially in Hoenn, but it is not currently known if these species prey on Bouffalant.
In Human CultureBouffalant has been seen a few times in certain media. A 1970 novel revolves around Bouffalant being penned in and ready to be hunted at an oppressive summer camp somewhere in Unova. During the story, several emotionally disturbed ex-trainers aim to free the Bouffalant from their fate, and eventually succeed. Additionally, there is a cartoon featuring a race of white-coloured flying Bouffalant which are incredibly friendly, with one of them being a helper for the main characters. There is also an episode of the popular cartoon My Little Ponyta which features a tribe of Bouffalant.
Bouffalant gave rise to the popularity of the 'afro' hairstyle, though it did not invent it. It is thought that ancient Unovan tribes would have their hair this way for reasons yet unknown, but after finding out that the hairstyle let them live peacefully amongst the then newly-discovered Bouffalant, they became closer to the creatures. Scientists then discovered this property, which allowed them to study Bouffalant at close quarters and gather data on them. Groups of common people later began adopting the hairstyle, believing it to symbolise great strength and community, as well as the ability to live peacefully with powerful creatures.
Bouffalant are raised for their milk, which humans occasionally drink. It has a reportedly similar taste to Miltank milk, though less sweet and with a slight spicy tang. Miltank is more popular in regards to milk, though there has been some demand for Bouffalant milk to be imported to Kalos and Alola. Their meat is also consumed, although this being a rare occurrence, given the species' reputation for going nearly extinct a couple of centuries ago, and then the incident on Unova's Route 10. The meat is more nutritious than that of Tauros, and it fetches a very high price in fancy restaurants, with few butchers even being able to stock it.