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Drilbur Line

Morphs [Oak Catalog #]

  • Drilbur [529]
  • Excadrill [530]

Physical Description

The Pokémon of the Drilbur line are a line of small bipedal talpids with limbs, including large, clawed forelimbs that terminate in three digits, the accumulation of metallic substances in their skeletal structures with age and evolution, as well their adaptations to a subterranean lifestyle..

Typical individuals from this line's first stage, Drilbur, stand 30 centimeters tall and weigh between 8-9 kilograms. A Drilbur possesses a large prominent snout covered in white fur that terminates with a prominent pink nose. Other notable anatomical features include Drilbur's three prominent claws on its arms, which enable it to burrow at rapid speeds through the soil, its side-facing eyes with small irises, a small tail, and its distinctive blue and black pelt. On a Drilbur, regions around the head, encompassing the lower legs and the undersides of its arms are covered in black fur, with blue regions dominating its upper legs and posterior, and a vaguely circular region along its palms, with the rest of its body exhibiting wide bands of these two fur colors.

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The second and presumed final stage, Excadrill, undergoes a number of physical alterations with evolution. Two of the most readily apparent alterations are to its height and weight, with the average Excadrill standing 70 centimeters tall and weighing just over 40 kilograms. Other changes to Excadrill's anatomy include the emergence of a "drill bit" consisting of a plate with two prominent spikes located in tandem with each other that is fused to an Excadrill's skull, as well as the six digits on its forelimbs, the middle digits possessing spikes of a similar nature. Excadrill's muzzle is remarkably alike that of its prior form, with the only major difference consisting of two sets of red "slashes" on its cheeks, the rest of its pelt changes dramatically, with a body dominated by brown fur, punctuated by red fur composing rhombal "slashes" that ring its abdomen, a small rhombal region along its posterior, and rhombal regions covering subcutaneous spikes on its kneecaps, the sides of its head, and on both lateral sides of its lower forelimbs.

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In rare cases, individuals exhibiting a phenotype associated with a genetic mutation are documented. Such individuals possess blue noses, gray muzzles, and magenta fur in regions where blue fur is located on their counterparts. As Excadrill, such individuals have an alike nose and muzzle coloration as their more common counterparts, but have a coat consisting of magenta and blue regions in place of the typical brown and red.

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Notable Biology

One of the defining characteristics of creatures from the Drilbur line is their skeletal system, which like those of a number of Pokemon, incorporates metallic compounds. This phenomenon is most pronounced for the later morph, whose bones possess a characteristic appearance not wholly unlike that of the bones of creatures such as Lucario. These metallic compounds give Drilbur and Excadrill's skeletal system the strength to facilitate feats that are truly remarkable for creatures of their size, including granting them the ability to burrow through soil at speeds approaching that of vehicular traffic on the surface. As with creatures with similar skeletal structures, these creatures are vulnerable to overheating due to exposure to bursts of extremely high temperatures, and often suffer significant bodily discomfort in sustained cold or heat, a phenomenon that is most pronounced amongst Excadrill (though it should be noted that they possess a much greater resistance to sudden bursts of cold temperature better than their younger counterparts).

Creatures from this line are also defined by their adaptations which enable them to thrive in subterranean environments. One of the most prominent of these is the greater tolerance for low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels by these creatures' respiratory systems. Drilbur and Excadrill also possess formidable senses of smell and sensitivity to vibrations, which enable them to discern prey in pitch-black tunnel networks. Excadrill's 7-piece "drill bit" also enables it to assume a shell-like position that encloses its upper body, which serves both as a defense mechanism as well as a means to burrow rapidly through soil. These adaptations are not without disadvantages, one of the most prominent of these being Drilbur and Excadrill's relative difficulty in adjusting to abrupt shifts in ambient light, which can lead to members of this line being temporarily stunned and disoriented by bright flashes of light.

Another, typically overlooked facet of Drilbur and Excadrill's biology is their possession of toxic saliva, which is a powerful paralytic agent for some creatures. This saliva is used in order to paralyze weakened prey via bites, which allow for prey to be moved elsewhere into the tunnels that Drilbur and Excadrill dwell in for more convenient or otherwise future consumption.

Three distinct submorphs of the Drilbur line are known to exist, which are differentiated by a combination of psychological and physiological factors. The first of these submorphs is characterized by a unique pelt structure that makes individuals more suited to moving through tunnels or settings with large quantities of suspended particulates with less resistance. The second of these submorphs is known to possess a generally greater incorporation of soil and rocks into its attacks. These individuals are characterized by typically larger claws that are capable of displacing greater quantities of earth than their other counterparts. The last, and rarest submorph possesses glands near the base of its claws that secrete an acrid, unpleasant-feeling substance, which is incorporated into such individuals' attacks.

Habitat

Drilbur and Excadrill are known to live in expansive series of tunnels that are known to extend as far as 100 meters below the surface of the earth. In most environments, these tunnel networks possess burrows that connect the network to the surface world that are obscured by cover such as brush in order to prevent detection by foes, in mountainous and cavernous environments that host Drilbur and Excadrill populations, such burrows are much more commonly documented. Drilbur and Excadrill are known to be especially prolific in Unova, with reports from transit authorities throughout the region documenting encounters with these creatures, which suggests a range far more vast than a typical trainer's encounters with these creatures would suggest. Readily accessible populations of these creatures can be encountered caves along Unova Routes 3, 6, 7, 9, and 13 along with Unova's Victory Road. Small populations have also been seen in the caverns of some islands off the coast of Hoenn.

Diet

Drilbur and Excadrill possess an omnivorous diet, composed of nuts and tubers along with primarily invertebrate prey. Hunting patterns are more typically documented among Excadrill, with Drilbur typically dependent upon elder counterparts for sustenance or otherwise assistance in dispatching quarry. Drilbur and Excadrill appear to have their preferred prey influenced by the demands of their skeletal structure, with predation upon lone Durant a commonly-documented phenomena, as well as the emergence of evidence strongly suggesting the predation of Onix and Steelix by members of this line. Both solitary and group hunting behaviors have been documented amongst these creatures, with many strategies revolving around luring or otherwise herding prey into tunnels and then collapsing its exits. Unlike most Pokemon, creatures from this line are known to store live prey for later consumption, in chambers known in some circles as "larders".

Hazards

In spite of their short stature and deceptively unassuming appearance, it should be kept in mind that as with any Pokemon, needlessly antagonizing creatures from the Drilbur line is far from a wise proposition. Both members of this line are known to utilize slashing attacks. Clawings from Drilbur are known to be capable of leaving gashes deep enough to necessitate medical sutures and sterilization to avoid potentially dangerous infections, with the effects of a clawing by an Excadrill typically trending several orders of magnitude more serious in nature. Some members in captivity are capable of executing a technique known as "Poison Jab," which incorporates their toxic saliva into attacks with their claws. Drilbur and Excadrill also both are known to utilize techniques that impair an opponent's ability to see by throwing sand into their eyes or otherwise generating clouds of dust and sand. Both stages of this line are known to employ attacks which employ the throwing of foreign objects such as rocks, which depending upon the size of the projectile and strength of the assailant can result in injuries ranging from minor bruises and scrapes to multiple fractured bones and massive internal bleeding. Excadrill and on rarer occasions, Drilbur are known to be capable of utilizing attacks that generate localized tremors. In such an attack, the greatest risk of injury typically lies with the threat of falling objects, which are commonplace in the subterranean settings that Drilbur and Excadrill dwell in in the wild. In the wild, Excadrill, and in rarer circumstances, it's earlier form, have been known to use a technique known as "Drill Run," in which opponents are plowed into while rotating its body in a corkscrew motion. It should be noted that this tactic is capable of piercing metal sheets among more powerful users, which for opponents pinned against hard surfaces, is often a fatal experience.

It should be noted that in many cases, hostile encounters with Drilbur and Excadrill will involve groups of these creatures. In such a case, it is generally preferable to use tactics such as the use of repels or techniques such as Roar to buy time to escape rather than attempt to engage the group. Other, more mundane hazards associated with training these creatures include potential damage to yards and building foundations by the burrowings of poorly-trained creatures from this line as well as attacks on perceived aggressors to trainers.

Courting

Due to the great difficulties involved in observing creatures of this line in their native environment, which have resulted in the destruction of many a researcher's camera equipment, our best knowledge of Drilbur and Excadrill's courtship habits arise from behaviors exhibited by captive individuals. Both Drilbur and Excadrill are fertile, with most observations in the wild suggesting that both forms engage in mating in the wild. Male Drilbur and Excadrill are known to attempt to woo mates via mating calls, which are often accompanied by gifts of food. Aggressive behavior has been documented among rival suitors, not wholly unlike that present amongst other Pokemon. Mating amongst creatures from this line appears to be rather opportunistic, as most creatures from this line in captivity are not known to exhibit long-term intimacy with mates. After mating, the male and female will separate, with the latter carrying the eggs of her young. Drilbur seldom have multiple young, while Excadrill are known to have litters that average 4-5 individuals. As with most mammalian Pokemon, Drilbur eggs are capable of surviving both oviparous and ovoviviparous reproduction, with incidences of the latter presumed to be markedly more common in the wild than in captivity.

Social Structure

Drilbur are born blind for the first 14 days of their lives, and based upon encounters with wild Drilbur, appear to be cared for by their mothers for a month before being left to fend for themselves, who generally fully mature within the course of 10 months. Little is known about Drilbur social structures other than individuals apparently live in close proximity to each other, and regularly engage in group activities such as hunting. It is theorized in some circles that Drilbur and its evolution may be colonial, though data presently remains inconclusive to support such an observation.

In Human Society

Drilbur and Excadrill have long possessed a mixed reputation in human circles, serving as both major aerators of the soil, helping to unearth valuable buried gems and artifacts via their activities, and aides to excavation as well as major agricultural pests who also frequently damage valuable subterranean infrastructure such as subway tunnels and water mains in the regions that host large populations of these creatures. In the past, Drilbur and Excadrill pelts were prized for their consistency, which enabled them to serve as an affordable, but comfortable-feeling material with which to make garments, though the practice has largely faded from existence. Contemporary media very much reflects the mixed attitudes towards Drilbur and Excadrill, with most depictions casting these creatures in an industrious but disruptive light. Members of this line make appearances both as protagonists, including as a minor character within a children's animated series revolving around stuffed animals and as recurring characters in the properties of a major video game manufacturer, including in a number of platforming IPs that it owns or has otherwise published and as recurring enemies in a cult series of role-playing games.


Article by Tracer Bullet.

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