Friday, June 1, 2012

Who's That Pokemon- Unova Edition: Karrablast/ Escavalier

There are two Pokemon in Gen V that break all the rules of Pokemon evolution that we thought we knew:  Shelmet and Karrablast. While there have always been Pokemon that evolve via trading, these two only evolve when traded for each other. Then one must trade back to add the new Pokemon to one's Pokedex.

The result: Shelmet becomes a shell-less, super-fast ninja slug called Accelgor (wrap your brain around that), while Karrablast walks right into the slug's old home and resembles an insectoid knight called Escavalier (shown above). This is, believe it or not, based on a real thing:

Awesome photo by J. Konuma. Slender specimen.

Several types of ground beetle are specially-adapted to eat snails. The group to look at, Carabidae, has several members that can fit right into a snail's shell and eat the slug while it's still inside. They are flightless and found in many parts of the world, including Japan, Europe, and the Americas. Aside from eating snails, they will also eat other insects or fruit that happens to be lying around.

The carabid beetles come in two flavors: long and small-headed and large and heavy-headed. These are both effective when it comes to eating snails for completely different reasons. On one hand, you're slender enough to break into the snail, but have trouble cracking their armor; on the other, large-headed beetles can crush the snail in their jaws, but can't fit their heads into the shell as can their slender counterparts. There's an evolutionary tradeoff that relates entirely to eating snails and the physics therein. This has promoted differentiation among ground beetles. They're like the Darwin's Finches of the insect world.

We're almost glad Pokeymanz didn't make this one too realistic. Yes, Karrablast gets a diet plan and steals Shelmet's shell, but at least the pink squishy inside Shelmet lives. The slug gets to live a happy life as a ninja when traded over as opposed to being devoured. Be free, ninja slug. Be free.


  1. I was looking forward to learning about a fast type of slug...

  2. This is so weird. Totally sharing it!