Friday, February 24, 2017

An Analysis on the Phylogeography of Pokemon

All right. Let's take two iconic salamander-like Pokemon. Wooper and Mudkip. One from the Johto region, the other from Hoenn.
All images and Pokemon information from Bulbapedia.
Just looking at them, you can immediately see some similarities. Like, for example, the head and tail fins, the eyes, or the coloration. But the similarities between these two Pokemon extend beyond simple appearances, and are detailed in the following Powerpoint slide.
Click to enlarge.
It is obvious from this that these two species are very closely related. They possess many similar traits in their deeper statistics and information including:
  • Typing: Both Wooper and its evolved form, Quagsire are Water and Ground-type Pokemon. Mudkip is a Water Pokemon, but its evolved forms Marshtomp and Swampert are Water and Ground type.
  • Abilities: Both Mudkip and Wooper have the ability Damp.
  • Coloration when shiny: Both Mudkip and Wooper are pink or purple when shiny.
  • Height: Each of these Pokemon has the same height of 0.4 meters or 1'04".
It can be reasonable concluded from this that these Pokemon are very closely related. As the Hoenn region is an island south of the Johto region, it can be theorized that at one point Hoenn and Johto were connected and a population of Wooper's range extended into Hoenn, and to adapt to the climate, they evolved into Mudkip. This explains both the similarities between these Pokemon and the reason that although Mudkip occurs in Hoenn, Wooper does not. However, an alternate theory is that both Wooper and Mudkip evolved from the same common ancestor, a salamander-like, Water and Ground-type Pokemon that occurred in both Johto and Hoenn. It may have looked like this.
Anyway, this was Alli of Alli's Snakes, participating in her hobby of taking video games and such way too seriously.