Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Spheal [#363]
- Sealeo [#364]
- Walrein [#365]
Spheal are small, blue pinniped Pokemon that live mostly in the polar regions of the world. As opposed to Seel, which are phocid pinnipeds, Spheal are otarrid, or eared seals, due to the presence of true ears on their heads. One interesting facet of their biology is the fact that they are completely spherical in shape. This makes them rather poor swimmers, but they are also very buoyant as a result. Due to their poor swimming ability, they are very dependent on their mothers for food. To move around, Spheal use their spherical bodies to roll across ice floes. If threatened, they are capable of rolling away at speeds of up to 30 mph while using Rollout.
To protect themselves from the cold, the Spheal line has thick fur and a massive amount of blubber, which is often used by native tribes for fuel and clothing. During the 18th and 19th Centuries, hunters from other regions hunted Spheal and its evolutions to the brink of extinction through overhunting for fur and lamp fuel. Today, Spheal hunting is only afforded to natives, and a large fine and/or jail time is given to poachers who break the law. Due to the population boom following the moratorium, there have been increased cries by southern regions to lift the ban, to the anger of Sinnoh and other northern regions.
Once a Spheal evolves into Sealeo, generally after a year, they become far better swimmers and start spending more time in the ocean. An interesting quirk of Sealeo is their compulsion to roll and/or bounce things on their noses in order to learn their odors and textures, which is primarily responsible for their classification as "The Ball Roll Pokemon". Occasionally, this can include a Spheal just for fun. Their powerful flippers are easily capable of breaking through ice, as well as the bones of a predator. They dive for prey about five times a day.
After about five years on average, Sealeo evolve into Walrein. Unlike their previous forms, the placement of their back legs allows them to to move on land as easily as any terrestrial Pokemon, though they still prefer the water. Their most prominent feature are their massive tusks, which are capable of shattering ice in one blow, as well as the shells of Shellder and Cloyster. Walrein are more aggressive than their previous forms, and are often found at the center and edges of their herds, where the biggest male serves as the beachmaster.
Walrein are a species built for battle. Their thick manes protect them from neck attacks, whereas their thick blubber allows them to withstand most attacks directed at the body, including Fire and Ice moves. They are very protective of their herds, and will even die for them if neccessary, which is why they serve as herd security. [Trainer's Note: A good idea for training a Spheal or its evolutions is teaching it to see its team as its rookery for better cohesion.] Walrein tusks can break off in battle, but they can grow back within a couple of months.
HabitatThe vast majority of the Spheal line are found at the poles living on the ice. However, there is a rather famous population of Spheal that live in Hoenn's Shoal Cave, due to its cooler temperatures compared to the rest of the region. They are famous to the point of eclipsing the far more numerous Arctic Spheal. These Shoal Cave Spheal are also known as Monk Spheals due to their cave dwelling nature. They can also be found in the waters of northeastern Sinnoh within the Battle Zone and are a somewhat rare sight during the winter within Undella Bay in Unova.
Scientists theorize that the Shoal Cave Spheal may have been a vestigal population that was left in Hoenn after the last Ice Age. Due to the difficulty of reaching the poles, the vast majority of trained Spheal, Sealeo, and Walrein come from the Shoal Cave, despite representing only 1% of the world's population of Spheal and its evolutions.
DietSpheal and its evolutions are primarily piscivorious, living mainly off of fish and mollusc Pokémon. Walrein, however, have been known to attack and kill Seel Line members to eat on occasion, though this has only been recorded in times of extreme hardship. There are also unsubstantiated stories of Walrein even hunting Wailmer to eat and scavenging Wailord carcasses.
HazardsWhile Spheal and Sealeo are fairly docile, often making friends with humans if they don't move away, all members of the Spheal line are capable of using Ice Ball, a compressed ball of ice used to defend themselves if threatened. Ice Ball gets progressively bigger and harder with each use, and is capable of breaking ribs and causing severe internal injuries, if not death.
Sealeo flippers, as previously mentioned, can break a person's bones with a strong slap if threatened. They also know powerful Ice-type moves such as Aurora Beam and Blizzard and have a rather nasty bite. However, they prefer to flee than risk direct confrontation. Their habit of rolling objects on their noses can lead to trouble if traveling with a trainer, with at least one incident involving a trainer's Sealeo bouncing a Voltorb on its nose leading to an unfortunate ending.
Walrein, on the other hand, are far more aggressive and willing to attack humans, especially if they encroach on their rookery. Besides having piercing tusks and a Body Slam capable of breaking every bone in the human body, older Walrein are capable of learning a move known as Sheer Cold, a blast of absolute zero which freezes opponents solid instantly if it connects. Luckily, the energy required means that they use it very sparingly and only as a last resort. It would also be a good idea not to get in-between two warring Walrein, as they don't care who gets killed in the crossfire of their battle. Also, since they are capable of moving well on land, they can chase you down and gore you with their tusks as well. [Trainer's Note: Make sure your Spheal has respect for you when it's younger, otherwise once it evolves it will challenge you for the position of the team beachmaster. Make sure your Pokémon understands who the beachmaster is at all times.]
Due to their thick blubber and lack of sweat glands, Spheal and its evolutions can easily overheat in warmer environments, so it's a good idea to refrain from having them battle in places like deserts or tropical rainforests.
Courting and ChildrearingMating is done primarily by Walrein and older Sealeo. The beachmaster (always a Walrein) is the only one allowed to mate, and its courting ritual consists only of picking a receptive female and then mating. If there is a rival, the fights can be quite bloody as the two Walrein rise up and joust with their tusks until one gives in. In some cases this can even lead to death for the loser.
After mating, the female Sealeo or Walrein has a gestation period of four months before giving birth to one or two Spheal pups. In captivity they will tend to lay eggs instead. Due to the young's inability to swim well, the mother gets them food and helps them practice until they are close to evolving, at which point she abandons them to their fate.
Social StructureSpheal and its evolutions live in large colonies lead by a male Walrein which serves as the beachmaster. It is also not unusual to see lone Sealeo and Walrein that lack a herd due to either competition or choice. They can also be seen in mixed groups with Seel and Dewgong, though those are rather rare.
Written by rmctagg09