14 November 2007

Waterlily-based Pokémon

Following up on my previous post about Pokémon, I think I found the original source of information for the article I posted over on this website.

This site also talks about a Pokémon that I instantly loved as someone who studies aquatic plants -- it is based on the genus Victoria, a member of the waterlily family Nymphaeaceae, and found in calm waters of the Amazon river basin in South America.

So, I present Lotad (and Lombre).

(more biology below the fold)

The Legendary Pokémon site says the name Lotad probably comes from combining Lotus and lily pad. But see that very pronounced upturned edge? It has to be a Victoria. The official description of Lotad on the Pokémon website confirms this:

"It looks like an aquatic plant and serves as a ferry to Pokémon that can't swim."
The history of people sitting on giant Victoria leaves goes back to the Victorian era, when this was a common plant in cultivation in showy water gardens.

Like these kids sitting upon leaves at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1906.
Yes, this was before Photoshop, the leaves really are this large!

There are many more Pokémon to discuss, so I think this might be a regular feature on this blog.

And I modify my statement earlier, if you let your kids know that Pokémon are based on actual species, I think this game/cartoon franchise can be very educational. I really need to start watching the cartoon!

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