Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Swinub [#220]
- Piloswine [#221]
- Mamoswine [#473]
These Pokémon are all porcine and brown-furred in appearance, and are adapted for life in cold climates. However, the forms are very divergent in terms of appearance and especially size.
Swinub is a small (0.4 meters/2 feet long), oval, striped Pokémon with squinted eyes and a distinctive round, pink nose. It has poor eyesight, and navigates mostly by smell. Its short legs and tiny hooves are hidden below its body, and are further concealed by thick fur. It has no visible ears.
Piloswine is larger (about 1 meter/3.25 feet long) with an oversized hump and an enlarged skull dome that makes its body nearly 2 meters/6.5 feet tall. It trades the stripes of its Swinub stage for two tusks (shorter in females) and much longer hair. It still has proportionally small legs and feet, but its once-invisible ears are now long and floppy. Its eyes, on the other hand, are still weak and now almost always covered by fur, and so it must still mainly use smell and hearing to move around.
The third form, Mamoswine, was rare enough that until recently people thought it was extinct. It is huge more than 4 meters/13 feet tall, and just as long and shares certain traits with both other porcine Pokemon and the Phanpy line. Its fur, while not as shaggy as Piloswines, is thick, and supplemented by a thick layer of fat. There is so much fat concentrated around its eyes that they can afford to have a blue skin mask with white edges around them for display. The eyes themselves are much better developed than in their pre-evolutions, and can see far more clearly. Its snout, while not trunk-like in the least, is still more defined than in its previous forms, and is surrounded by tan fur. Its tusks are much larger and longer (though females still have slightly shorter ones) and are often covered in ice, though its a myth that theyre actually made of ice. Its legs are also large and thick now, for supporting its bulk though its feet have one more toe than normal for porcine Pokemon.
The rare phenotypes for this species consist of grey-green Swinub, blonde Piloswine, and greenish-yellow Mamoswine. Trainers have trekked far through snowy lands tracking these very special individuals.
As Ground and Icetype Pokémon, this line has many abilities related to earth and cold, though the most popular of these are earth tremors and shards of ice spat from the mouth. They can also use Rock-related moves, like sending pointed stones hurtling from the ground at opponents.
Three strains, as usual, exist in this species. The first has a lower-than-normal sex drive outside of the breeding season, and attacks that attempt to infatuate it always fail. The second has fur that snow clings to easily, giving them camouflage in snowstorms. The rarest strain has an extra layer of specialized fat that protects them from both extreme heat and extreme cold.
Piloswine were originally not thought to evolve at all and werent thought to be even closely related to Mamoswine. However, they can evolve into Mamoswine by learning how to use the move known as Ancient Power among Trainers. The exact connection between the move and the evolution is still being studied.
It is thought that Mamoswine may have actually evolved (in the natural selection sense) first; over time, they evolved young and adolescent morphs to better take advantage of resources in their icy habitats. Because of this, it was these younger morphs that remained fairly widespread in the long run.
These Pokémon all live in nearly any cold area from taiga forests to tundra, with only solid ice being a limit. Swinub and Piloswine are also known to live in icy caves, where they navigate using their specialized hooves to move around on the ice and their powerful noses to find their way in the dark.
Wild Mamoswine once ranged just as widely as their pre-evolutions; however, due to rising temperatures and hunting by prehistoric humans, they became extinct in almost all of their range around 10,000 years ago, near the end of the last ice age. For most of those 10,000 years they were thought to be completely extinct by most humans; however, an isolated population was discovered almost simultaneously with the discovery that Piloswine can evolve into them. There are now five of those populations known the most famous being the ones on the northern tip of Sinnoh (fairly far north of Snowpoint City; though the population was discovered when a lost Mamoswine stumbled into the city) and the Mamoswine of Unovas Giant Chasm. One of the less famous populations, living near the Sinjoh Ruins, actually featured a similarly isolated tribe of humans who, instead of hunting Mamoswine, used them as beasts of burden along with their Piloswine pre-evolutions.
This species, like other porcine Pokémon, is omnivorous with a somewhat herbivorous slant.
Swinub use their snouts to sift through dirt and grass for food usually edible mushrooms, but it includes pretty much everything it can fit in its mouth, like tubers, grubs, and even small burrowing Pokemon.
Piloswine are similar, but extend their diet to include above-ground fare, like fruit, grass, and smaller Pokemon; theyve even been known to prey on the young of other hoofed Pokémon.
Mamoswine are more herbivorous than their pre-evolutions; they feed mostly on grass, leaves, and pine needles, using their oversized tusks to sweep away snow. However, their large size means they must feed on similarly large amounts of food, and migrating herds of Mamoswine can strip away large swaths of plant life. Yet when they want meat they can take down pretty much anything smaller unless it has a type advantage; the only creatures that prey on them in turn are the occasional cold-climate Steelix.
Swinub are very peaceful Pokémon (though always hungry), and make good pets so long as they can be prevented from evolving or overheating.
Piloswine are more pugnacious, partially because their poor vision means they tend to charge at random. When a Pilowswines hair rises up, its about to charge. They often slash at what theyre charging at with their tusks to do increased damage. While these attacks arent usually fatal, and are very rare in Piloswine raised from the Swinub stage, they can still cause trauma, heavy bleeding, and broken bones.
Mamoswine are best reserved for more experienced Trainers, since they can be very dangerous partially because their large size means they can unintentionally crush things. Additionally, Mamoswine are very intelligent, and can grow disobedient when they dont like their trainer for whatever reason. However, most dangerous of all is the musth period that males go through about once a year; this causes them to attack anything that moves, and is caused by glands on the sides of their heads that excrete massive amounts of aggression-related hormones. It is highly recommended that these glands be removed as soon as a Piloswine evolves, in order to minimize the danger.
Females of the Piloswine and Mamoswine stages are also ferociously protective of their young.
Courting and Childrearing
Swinub typically live with their parents, and even the older ones that dont still rarely breed.
Piloswine and Mamoswine males fight ceremonial battles over females; while the natural toughness of both stages means that serious injuries are normally rare, during the musth season of male Mamoswine fights can actually get deadly. Whatever the outcome, the strongest males mate with the females of the herd.
Females of both breeding stages give birth to about four, sometimes two or six, baby Swinub. The mother moves little when the babies are still very young, to avoid crushing them; she relies on other members of the herd to bring her food. Even when they grow old enough to follow her on foraging trips, all the herd members must tread carefully - quite literally. Eventually, however, the Swinub grow old enough to avoid the footsteps of their larger kin, as well as being able to find food and dodge predators, on their own. The females usually stay with the herd their entire lives.
All members of this line form nomadic, matriarchal family groups, with older males as wandering loners. In ancient times, said societies had Mamoswine as the matriarchs, as well as comprising all the mature adults of the herd; males were expelled from the herd at the Mamoswine stage as well. However, this system now only exists in the few remaining wild Mamoswine populations, and most modern herds consist entirely of more disorganized Piloswine and Swinub; the males are now removed from the herd at the Piloswine stage.
These family herds wander through tundra and northern pine forests, foraging for food as they go. When they strip an area of most of its food, they simply move on to the next one. When meeting other herds, they either ignore each other if not related or interact like old friends if they are.
An interesting characteristic of these Pokémon (especially Mamoswine) is that they seem to mourn their dead. If they encounter bones from other members of their species (especially in a spot where they saw a relative die) they often take turns solemnly and gently touching the bones with their snouts, tusks, and feet.
In Human Culture
Swinub are valued by humans for their sense of smell; they have often been used to find hot springs. Swinub are also used to find valuable species of fungi; however, canine Pokémon are usually preferred for this job, as they dont eat the fungi like Swinub are prone to do.
Piloswine are common beasts of burden in cold areas, and are also valued for their milk and dung, the latter of which makes excellent fuel.
Mamoswine have been capturing the human imagination for perhaps longer than any non-legendary Pokémon. They are a common sight in cave paintings, and to this day they are iconic symbols of the ice ages, much as Tyrantrum is a symbol of the age of dinosaur Pokémon. Before their rediscovery they were top candidates for testing early fossil-resurrection technologies, and afterwards a news sensation was caused when one was thawed out, miraculously alive, from a block of ice. (It was then introduced into one of the rediscovered herds.) Mamoswine are also known for their extremely high intelligence, which nears that of humans. They are popular in pop-cultural depictions of the ice ages, and one famous fictional one in an animated film series has teamed up with prehistoric relatives of Vigoroth and Luxray, among others.