Pokéology: Dunsparce

Happy Tuesday! I’ve been out getting horribly sunburnt, but hopefully you guys have had a better time this summer than I have.

So here’s Dunsparce, the obvious candidate for a biological exploration. It was hard to pick a Johto Pokémon, as I enjoy way too many of them in a biological sense, but I decided this fellow is a good choice.

How about the basis though? Click on for some cryptozoological (Fun word!) wildness.



That should probably be kinda disconcerting; freaky-snake-thing with a tiny tail, large body, and fins. That’s what the Western Japanese call the Tsuchinoko, it’s kinda like a Japanese Bigfoot.

The Tsuchinoko is a Japanese ‘Cryptid’ that spends its time digging, biting people, and lying to people. Yeah, it can talk, and it apparently lies constantly when it does. It also has some ability to dig, which is a key factor in Dunsparce’s behavior. It has some ability to hop, although it doesn’t do thisvery well at all.

This basis is made obvious by many things, not only the distinct appearance, and the Japanese mythology behind the two, but also the fact that Dunsparce, in its Japanese name, is an anagram of Tsuchinoko. I know, I’ve said before how I see names as not being entirely accurate indicators of species, but Dunsparce matches the quota enough for me to say this is an accurate basis.  I first heard of the Tsuchinoko in other game series, in which I immediately knew it had to be Dunsparce.

Though, there’s another side of things that’s hard to touch on. Why does it have wings?! That takes some digging for me to figure out. The Tsuchinoko is never shown as having wings, so why?

Now this is what Europeans would call a Amphiptere, a winged, legless serpent.  They’re typically shown with an arrow-tipped tail, remind you of anyone in particular?  These guys are typically yellow in colour as well.

Amphiptere is from European Heraldry, and have been seen in it for centuries. They stand out quite a lot, as they have never been really shown with feathers. This is why I choose it over other winged serpents, which are typically covered from head to… tail? in feathers.

I personally believe that Dunsparce came out of the formation of a bunch of Serpent myths, but I haven’t yet figured out why it’s so sleepy.




So why is this guy so odd-looking?

The colours, at first, are pretty odd; but consider this: Dunsparce spends most of its time in dark caves, burrowing into the dirt. It doesn’t really have any need to hide from predators, and, much like birds, can be any colour it wants. I’d say that the contrasting colours would help Dunsparce to find mates and allies in the caves it calls home.

The eyes are completely shut, and this is another indicator of the dark lifestyle it lives. Many cave organisms have unused eyes, if any. Thusly, it makes sense for Dunsparce to not waste valuable time trying to look around itself, other than when it uses its eyes to find other Dunsparce, or to surprise predators when using Glare.

However, this fellow doesn’t need eyes; the small protrusions on its lower jaw seem to explain part of this. They seem to be feelers, to feel the vibrations of the ground, or to check for prey in front of its mouth.

As for catching prey and hiding, it clearly uses burrows for both. The feelers would wait for a prey item to pass over its den, and then leap out and surprise even the largest of prey in the dark of the caves. The large drill-like tail would help greatly with digging these burrows.




Apologies for the short article! So what do you think of Dunsparce?  Any questions or comments? I love having a chat with you guys. Speaking of which, what’s your favorite first generation Pokémon? I’ll be use to use my favorite suggestion for next week’s first generation article.