Monday, January 2, 2017

Evolutionary Traits in Pokemon -Polymorphism- Part Two

Alolan Rattata
(1/2/2017) --- One thing I found interesting about Pokemon Sun & Moon, is that it offers finally an introduction to the concept of polymorphism to explain the differences in variation of the species among the world.

To understand the Pokemon World (Bulbapedia - Pokemon World) we have to understand a world that is extremely similar to Earth, we can even debate towards if this world could be concentrated in the String Theory of an infinite set of universe in which a world, through evolutionary means developed fantastic creatures (Supestring Theory Website - Basics).

Now, if we situate in this hypothetical universe, that is similar to our own, with a similar planet, similar nature laws and in a place where we can see variations of the same species, as well subspecies, now to understand the game franchise story will know that each game is set in different regions, within each regions there are a set of Pokemons that are exclusively to those regions, but overall within those regions the player never see variants of Generation 1 & 2; such as Meowth or Rattata.

The regions that are mentioned are Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh Unova and Kalos. Those regions could be considered part of one vast continent that contains a similar number of Pokemon that could travel freely and always face a similar variances on the regions micro-climates, dietary needs and human impact. In theory, there aren't any variants of Pokemons towards these lands, because they could be considered one and the same.

Alola Region
Now we have a land, Alola which comes with the Seventh Generation (Bulbapedia - Seventh Generation), what is fantastic about this generation is that it's the first Pokemon game that offer an insigth towards the concept of polymorphism (Encyclopedia Britannica), species invasion in a foreign ecosystem as well biological adaptation.

We are going to focus more entries on this topic, so far we are just going to go within the genetic variations of Pokemon's found in Alola versus the ones found in Kanto and the surrounding regions.

Alolan Meowth
Sometimes within adaptation of species, there are minor differences between what the morphology of the body; but, if we take a discontinuous genetic variation divides individuals of a single population into two or more distinct forms such as the case of Meowth (Bulbapedia - Meowth)

What is fantastic about Alolan Meowth is that is almost a different species of the same cat-like creature; there are some common morphological traits but on an learning level and we can add genetic makeup they differ between each other vastly.

How two creatures evolved differently goes into the phenotype, similar as how dogs were transformed over the course of 20 thousand years, just to give a short estimate (Genome Sequencing Highlights of the Dynamic Early History of Dogs) but in the case of Meowth the adaptability trait came as an invasive species that mimic the feral cat problematic in Hawaii.

The similarities between Meowth in Alola and cats in Hawaii are actually quite remarkable, as in the game lore the Meowths' were introduced from the Kanto region and became an invasive species on the Alola region, much as the cats were brought by the Europeans to act as guardians of the plantation against local pest (Hawaii Invasive Species Council)

The Meowths eventually on an estimate course of hundred years invaded all the archipelago and because of the human interaction and impact, they eventually went feral after the overpopulation and lack of control to retain the species from proliferating. Opposite to the Kanto region is that Meowth in Alola is a Dark type Pokemon opposite to a Normal Type, in which the adaptation is mostly related to the biological rhythm in which the Meowth as well Persian operates .

Alolan Persian
An aspect I found interesting is that Alolan Persian actually looks closely to a caricature version of a Persian, rather than a Siamese Cat that was common during the first six generations of the game. It probably came at the end as a way to add a more precise look to the character; but still it looks as a cross between two different cats.

References:

  1. Web retrieved: Bulbapedia - Pokemon World -http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_world
  2. Web retrieved: String Theory Homepage -http://superstringtheory.com/basics/index.html
  3. Web retrieved: Bulbapedia - Generation Seventh -http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Generation_VII
  4. Web retrieved: Encyclopedia Britannica - Polymorphism - https://www.britannica.com/science/polymorphism-biology
  5. Web retrieved: Bulbapedia -Meowth - http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Meowth_(Pok%C3%A9mon)
  6. Web retrieved: Genome Sequencing Highlight the Dynamic Early History of Dogs, Freedman, Adam - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894170/
  7. Web retrieved: Hawaii Invasive Species Council - http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/info/invasive-species-profiles/feral-cats/

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