The Great Butterfree/Venomoth debate.

Our whole world is crumbling around us, we have been playing Pokemon for 12 years.

Ugh... We just spotted this today...

Caterpie and Venonat evolve in the following way:




But upon further perusal this should clearly be:



Ok so the distinction in the Caterpie - Metapod - Venomoth evolution line is not overly obvious. But the Venonat to Butterfree similarities are astounding!Observe the Antennae, eyes, mouth, hands, and colouration.

Without giving into the horrible realisation that Nintendo fucked up, and have been lying to us; to stop ourselves swapping their positions in the pokedex, turning off the DS and never returning to pokemon again. There may be a way to explain this, from an Evolutionary stance:

1. Theory One: Venonat is a derived form of Butterfree.

If we can assume that Butterfree has remained Morphologically similar, there is a possibility that the species branched off at an earlier point in which may have found a flightless niche exising as a grounded gnat like creature. However this is somewhat dashed as it's further evolution seems to have re-evolved flight, a very unlikely scenario unless Venonat has larval vestigial wings which do not blossom until its evolution. Re-evolution of flight is somewhat unseen in evolution.

2. Theory Two: Homoplasic Morphology due to Convergent evolution.

There may be other factors that dictate the morphology of Butterfree and Venonat, it's not entirely clear but there may have a been an ecological advantage to the colouration or the compound eyes. Likely preventing them from predation from larger wild pokemon.

3. Theory Three: Mimicry.

Mimicry in larval stages is widely seen throughout the insects, there is a possibility that amongst pokemon that the Butterfree or Venonat morphology is similar to that of the bright yellow and black seen amongst beedrills wasps and staves off predation (NB: possibly the purple colouration which is synonymous with poison types).

4. Theory Four: All the above.

Evolution is not a clear road, there may be many attributes to convergent evolution or indeed evolution from a similar ancestor. All of the above may have been attributing factors in the similarities. Or it could just be a wild coincidence!


Darwin all up in this muthafuka!

Love and poor self justification for Pokemon Black and White,

Richie X

Comments

rob_is_gay said…
Definitely the best article on the blog. FACT.

Insightful, intelligent (purple for poison types), I will never see the world in the same light again.

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