jeffthelinguist asks:

Clownfish are all born male but in a group of male adult clownfish, one becomes bigger, meaner, and female. I’ve always thought clownfish would be a great fish Pokémon. (Granted we have a lot of fish Pokémon already but do we really need Basculim?) It could have an evolution method matching the gender changing and an anemone counterpart that it could mesh with in doubles. What do you think about this idea? How would you implement it?

First of all, an apology to this and dozen-odd other questions I have received over the past… month and a half, ish… which I will endeavour to answer over the course of the next week.

Now. I know one thing, and that is that we definitely do not need Basculin because Basculin is dumb.

Continue reading “jeffthelinguist asks:”

Jeffthelinguist asks:

What is the distinction between animals and Pokémon within universe? Granted they rarely allude to real animals in recent games, but canonically animals due exist in the Pokémon universe, so what do humans use to determine the difference between the two? Some Pokémon are pretty unremarkable and there are animals that are conversely more fantastical than Pokémon. Intelligence seems to not be a defining trait either. And I’m not really referring to game mechanics like “moves” and “abilities”, as surely a real bird can do things like peck and a real elephant could do things like stomp and tackle… heck archerfish can essentially use water gun and could probably splash which is already more moves than Delibird learns.

I… don’t like that word, “canonically.” I think Pokémon has been around long enough, spread itself across enough different media and subjected itself to enough retcons that the idea of “canon” oversimplifies to the point of meaninglessness. References to real animals almost always predate the introduction of Pokémon that would be able to supply those references – cows only exist until Miltank turns up, mongooses stop being a thing when they’re superseded by Zangoose, etc. Continue reading “Jeffthelinguist asks:”

Anonymous asks:

“I am a fish”, is this due to the fish ancestry of tetrapods with very similar bone structure? The gills became the modern ear…I believe. Fins became limbs with digits, we did lose the lateral line system but we gained access to land.

Ding ding ding ding DING!  We have a winner!

‘Fish’ is, strictly speaking, not a taxonomically meaningful category.  Tetrapods – that is, all amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – are descended from lobe-finned fishes, an incredibly ancient class of fishes that includes the coelacanth.  This means a) that the coelacanth is actually more closely related to humans than it is to salmon, goldfish, etc, and b) that, in the same way as all birds are dinosaurs, all land-dwelling vertebrates really should be considered fish.  The fact that they’re not is really just due to the scientific community choosing to bow to common sense in this instance.

If that paragraph made sense to you, you should probably be able to appreciate why asking “are Pokémon animals?” is actually a fiendishly intractable question.