Let’s talk about REAL environments

So. You’re out and about, catching your team, stepping on rocks and stones and random backyards… when suddenly you see that Ratatta you’re catching is on one of the biggest rocks in the  rocky intertidal.

Wait. What’s a rocky intertidal?

01b69484d46bc403048f22dd04e444717e0113281c.jpgAbove: my handy assistant Matt skipping through the rocky intertidal of Hammonasset State Park, Madison, CT

Environments

As you can probably guess, an environment is a space. We can think of an environment in a large scale, like a country, or a small scale, like a room or a pond. In either case, an environment is a complex area made up of living and non living things.

Think about where you are at this minute. You are a living thing, interacting with a nonliving thing (your digital device).

Your current environment could be simple, your room or your desk. Or, it could be busy, like a coffee shop. In either case, the environment is important because no matter what your environment is, it influences your current behavior. If you’re cold, you put on a sweater. If you find the coffee shop too noisy, you either put headphones/earplugs in, or leave.  The same properties apply to the real world and, consequently, to Pokemon.

Take a Viridian Forest as an example. You have Caterpie and Pidgey and Weedle all living in a forest environment. 01737ff8dc47911eca46a68b7666581a0e5d398fe8.jpgThis has a huge influence on the Caterpie because it needs to protect itself from predators, such as Pidgey. So, Caterpie adapted through it’s tree/bush/grass camouflage, and the special ridges on it’s legs to crawl upside down on branches. This keeps Caterpie safe, uneaten, and more likely to evolve into a Kakuna or Butterfree and breed. Weedle, similarly, adapted and evolved to have that poison stinger that too many of us as novice trainers forgot about. (And then walked with the blurry poison screens to the nearest Pokemon Center. ><)

Still haven’t answered that question, Connie. What’s a rocky intertidal??

Alright. So we covered environments and their importance on the living things inside it. Obviously, environments come in different types and “flavors”. The scientific word for these classifications is Biome.

Biomes: zones determined by the vegetation type or physical environment

So, a lot of “abiotic” (non-living) and “biotic” (living) factors go into this classification. A desert with no rain, sandy or rocky terrain, and sparse vegetation (plant populations) is very different from the salty, wet, and windy conditions I like to work in on Long Island Sound. But even then, these classifications get even more precise. 

Long Island Sound (LIS) is what we call an estuary, a mix of salt and fresh water. This is a HUGELY different environment than the Atlantic. Fresh rivers from the inland (CT and beyond!) mix in with the saltwater and create a unique environment that takes into account salinity (saltwater), temperature, and even chemical runoff. Animals within LIS are influenced by this dynamic, ever changing environment.

Long Island Sound is an even more incredible area if you look at how the shoreline works. You have the water itself, where many species of fish and crabs spend their entire life at different depths. Then, you have the salt marsh, a muddy and grassy area that acts as a buffer in between rivers and the sound. The salt marsh is home to fiddler crabs, ribbed mussels, and many species of birds. Most notably, the marshes are the main environment that saves the inland from storm surges when hurricanes and other large storms come blowing across the coast. Then, you have the rocky intertidal. The rocky intertidal on the Long Island Sound shores exists thanks to the Wisconsin Glacier, which scraped across the continent and dragged huge boulders to where it finally stopped. All of the different types of rocks then created a fantastic environment for algae (seaweed), crabs, snails, and anything that needs to stay wet even when the tide has left for the afternoon/morning/evening/night. The one big issue for the rocky intertidal on LIS is the Asian Shore Crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, which is an invasive species from Japan.

So, these biomes are good evidence for adaptation and influence on behaviors. The rocky intertidal especially sets a huge challenge for animals. They need to stay wet, cool/warm, protected from predators, and many of them need to stay anchored to the rocks.

So that Rattata just drew your attention to a pretty nifty (and sometimes ankle-twisting) environment. Pokemon that would live in this environment would probably be Shellder, Krabby, and the occasional Corsola. And Magikarp. Because Magikarp are EVERYWHERE.


(This article is intended for educational purposes. Please do not plagiarize; it will only lead to issues for you. Please see the FAQ for more information)

(I do not own Pokemon; mentions of Pokemon and images belong to Game Freak/Nintendo and their contributing parties. Use of images is for educational use ONLY. Please see FAQ and homepage for full statement)

 

 

 

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