pikachu

An electrifying rodent, Pikachus are not as cuddly as they look. This image was created by Victoria Campos. No Pikachu has ever been captured on camera.

Pikachus are generally thought to be very intelligent mammals. Because they are quite crafty critters, all attempts to collect specimens by scientists have failed. Two scientists, who call themselves “Team Rocket,” explain their difficulties.

“We’ve tried everything,” Jessie from Team Rocket said. “We’ve used rubber insulators. We’ve even tried the very controversial psychic attacks. Ground attacks. Nothing’s worked.”

James, the other scientist from Team Rocket was quick to add, “Pikachus are also difficult to find. They are very solitary animals, probably because when too many Pikachus come together, they create major electrical disturbances in the atmosphere. In fact, we believe that if we could gather enough Pikachus in one place, we could alter the entire electromagnetic field of the earth, such is the power of the Pikachus electric abilities. Imagine what types of green energy we could harness if we could learn enough to create artificial Pikachu power.”

Despite not being able to capture a live Pikachu, or even being able to catch them on camera, (Team Rocket’s electrical equipment seems to fail around Pikachus and they are way too quick to have their image captured with manual camera equipment.) Team Rocket has learned a lot about their natural history. One thing that has been a hotly debated issue is the evolution of Pikachus and their closest living relatives, Raichus. Some scientists believe that Raichus and Pikachus share a common ancestor, however Team Rocket has another idea.

“We believe that Raichus evolved directly from Pikachus,” James told Backyard Zoologist. We think that a long time ago, two populations of Pikachus (not a common ancestor) were separated from one another and one of those populations came across a special stone, called a thunderstone, which set off a series of unbelievably fast mutations that ultimately led to Raichus.” This is particularly important, as no other mammal is thought to have evolved this way. If a stone can be a catalyst for the evolution of a species, what other animals could have evolved this way? Only time will tell.

Team Rocket has made some other discoveries about Pikachus as well. They are omnivores, although it seems that their favorite food is apples. Their teeth grow continuously, like most rodents, so they have to constantly chew things.  In addition to being able to produce electricity, they have electroreception, or the ability to detect electricity, which allows them to not only navigate across long distances using the earth’s magnetic field, but also to find mates and prey. Very few mammals have this ability, although the duck-billed platypus is one of them. They have a life span of 3-4 years. They live and reproduce in burrows and the females rear the young by themselves. The young only stay with their mothers for 4 weeks before they are off on their own. If they stay in the area too long, the mother Pikachu will eat her own young. Below is an image of a nesting Pikachu.

Pikachu nursing

An illustration of a Pikachu nursing. Image by Dogsfather from Deviant art.

That is all we know about this elusive creature. Perhaps with time and ingenuity, we’ll be able to better understand this unusual mammal and maybe even gain some knowledge from them that might help to solve our energy crisis.

If you would like to learn more and help take care of homeless domesticated Pokemon, contact your local Pokemon Center.