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Pokemon Headcanon: Pokemon Genetics/Biological Classification Part 2

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So here's part two. As far as Pokemon genetics, I'd say that genetic disorders are quite possible among Pokemon, if one wanted to right about a Pokemon with a disorder. The show provides a few examples.

Example 1: Duplica's Mini-Dit. Duplica, for those that don't remember, was an original anime one shot character who introduced audiences to Ditto. She was an actress, a master of disguises and impersonations, and her Ditto followed suit. Her original Ditto had a problem with it's face staying the same, but it managed to correct it with Team Rocket's death threats, um, I mean encouragement.

But she appeared a second time with a second Ditto, one she called Mini-Dit. This Ditto also had a problem. While it could turn into other Pokemon fine, it could not alter its size. Now it managed to make the best of it as a crowd sensation, and that's wonderful. But this problem was never overcome. This could imply a genetic disorder with whatever genes allow Ditto to alter its size.

Example 2: Brock's Lotad. It and the other Lotad it lived with could use Water Gun. Max points out that Lotad (and as research shows, it's evolutions) can't use Water Gun. Research also shows that they can't use Razor Leaf, another attack Lotad uses. Now breeding results in them knowing these moves, but in my opinion the breeding system is sort of ridiculous in a story, and cross breeding is not possible/common. And it defies that anyway because a Lotad cannot learn both at once via breeding.

I've said it before, but in order to use an attack like Water Gun, you need special hardware. You need a pump. You need a third pipe in the throat. It's not a matter of technique. If those Lotad could use Water Gun, and Lotad isn't supposed to know that, then this implies that the pump for Water Gun is present in Lotad, but usually inactive, like an animal with an old body part from previous evolutions that it never got rid of, like how some boas have been found to have rudimentary hip bones. These Lotad, you could say, had a genetic quirk that made that pump functional.

Now the games have instances in the breeding system, so I am reading, where if certain Pokemon hold an item while breeding they lay eggs whose offspring are in advanced evolutionary stages. A Marill could give birth to another Marill and not an Azurill. This could reflect occurrences of the imprinting errors I mentioned in the last post, as they can happen in things other than clones. However, while a trainer may say "Oh great, I now have an even stronger Pokemon," in a story setting, this isn't necessarily a good thing.

They aren't supposed to hatch at the second stage. Miniature adults are not normal. And if they are born that way, it could mean serious problems. They would be, after all, babies. Children have nutritional needs, they need to grow and develop in certain ways, hit development milestones. Human development milestones and nutrient needs are well documented, what height and weight are like at given age ranges, when certain things happen, what the cognitive capacity of certain ages are. For the Pokemon world, there is little doubt that similar milestones have been well documented for various species of Pokemon.

But in the case of a miniature adult, be it a clone or an accident, those facts that were previously givens are now uncertainties. What problems could you run into? What is normal or abnormal now? See the point?

Now as far as biological classification of Pokemon, that's a real nasty subject that many have tried to do or pondered. But it's also an interesting subject. We know that all Pokemon descended from Mew. But one member on the forum, Instrutilus, proposed the interesting idea that Ditto were Mew that had lost their form. It is a great idea. Personally, I view it as not that they lost their form, but they gave it up.

Mew is supposed to be able to use all attacks. And it "has the DNA of all Pokemon within it". That can't be the literal complete genome for every Pokemon. Even with willing suspension, there's no way all that would fit. And it would be unnecessary anyway. All it would need would be the DNA specific to the types. But how can it use all of the attacks. As mentioned above, some attacks require biological hardware. My theory is that Mew uses all the attacks by using another ability, Transform. If it wants to breathe fire, it uses Transform to manipulate its organs so it can.

Now if Mew was the first Pokemon on the planet, then Transform would have been useless on its own. I mean if you are the only species, what's the point of a power that allows you to turn into other species? I mean you could turn into plants or rocks, but you see the point. Transform and all the genes related to it would have been used to facilitate all other attacks.

Now Pokemon seem to evolve in the Darwinian sense too. So why did Mew turn into other Pokemon? It seems to be a downgrade from its level of god-like power. Mew is like a crocodile, it wouldn't need to evolve because there was no need to improve. Okay, the existence of Mewtwo shows there was room to improve, but no real need to. But Mew is said to be a playful and curious sort, so here's my theory.

There were lots of Mew. Being playful and curious, and having access to all these powers, groups of Mew began to experiment with parts of their power. They began to experiment and develop the powers of their Fire type genes, or their Water type genes, or their Dark type genes, etc. This had the effect of degrading their powers, selectively developing one set of type genes while letting the others get phased out. So the downgrade wasn't exactly intended. Mew just wanted to explore.

This downgrading by various Mew groups as we'll call them, created new breeds of Pokemon, new species. These would eventually descend into the Pokemon of various types. And a few Mew remained as they were, so that's why there are still some around. But Ditto is a different story. When I look at Ditto, I see it's blobby body as a positive adaptation. It is that way because being that way makes transforming easier for it. Think about it. If it has to bend its shape at will to anything, having a flexible body with no rigid skeleton would be an asset, like Clayface from Batman.

But Mew can use Transform even with a rigid skeleton with ease. One of the movies showed this. So what's the problem? As Instrutilus said, they were Mew that lost their original form. In my opinion, they adapted to be that way because of a genetic error. Part of Mew's transforming genes must include something that allows it to do so with a rigid skeleton without a problem. That way, it doesn't need to be a blob. Ditto therefore, came from a Mew group all on it's own.

This group was a later group. Seeing all the new species around them, this group wanted to play with Transform by itself. But this group had a genetic typo that made transforming with hard bones very difficult. So they adapted over time into a blob shape to compensate.

In fact, the genes that allow Mew and Ditto to use Transform may be related to the genes that allow Pokemon to evolve as they do. It seems similar. The genes responsible for attacks like Mimic, Assist, or Metronome, attacks that allow Pokemon to use attacks they normally can't, may be variants of Mew/Ditto's Transform gene.

As far as how to classify them, you would need to build it from scratch. Our classification system was made for our plants and animals, not for these. You could say an evolutionary line is the closest thing to species, but you would really need to build it yourself. Types would be a good place to start, the widest of shared traits and high up in the structure. The classifications of Egg Groups may also help give inspiration, but don't necessarily use it as is.

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Updated 16th April 2014 at 04:33 PM by reynard



  1. Discord's Avatar
    This is good theory, but I would like to point out that Dittos might be failed Mew clones from the Mewtwo experiment
  2. Master Mew's Avatar
    I greatly enjoyed reading this.

    As for the Ditto/Mewtwo cloning theory, it plays well with movie canon but makes less sense with game canon as I recall. Mewtwo was created when Mew finally successfully "gave birth," and the implication seemed to be that Mew giving birth was itself the breakthrough - not that they'd been pumping out successful clones for months but this one finally had the traits they were looking for.

    Regardless of which canon you're following, I prefer the evolutionary theory that Ditto is a close (natural) descendant of Mew.
  3. Master Mew's Avatar
    Oh, and regarding Lotad: As of X/Y, all combinations of a species' potential egg-moves are possible, as both parents pass moves to their offspring.
  4. reynard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Derpy Dash
    This is good theory, but I would like to point out that Dittos might be failed Mew clones from the Mewtwo experiment
    Yes, I've heard of that theory, but it's not the only one that's possible. I prefer to think of Ditto as natural.
  5. reynard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Master Mew
    Oh, and regarding Lotad: As of X/Y, all combinations of a species' potential egg-moves are possible, as both parents pass moves to their offspring.
    Ah. Well that's interesting. Still, in the anime and from a story perspective, taking out the idea of crossbreeding for the most part and holding that Pokemon would breed among themselves, it served as a good example.

    As for your other post, I find that interesting. I follow the anime canon myself for the most part, though I make modifications where I deem it necessary (with cautious judgement). In that one, I thought they just cloned Mewtwo from the DNA of that tailbone and made alterations. Mew must have been able to breed originally. It would just make sense since it's the progenitor of modern Pokemon. I mean it makes sense for it not to be able to breed as a game mechanic...

    Although it is true that cloned animals do need to be placed in a host animal to be properly born. But I always figured Mewtwo was just born in a tube like how all of his clones were born in tubes. I figured he just used the same technology. Not that being placed in a living host does anything to fix any potential imprinting errors, or any of the other genetic problems that come with the process of cloning a whole animal.


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