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On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations beh

Dreams of electric Bulbasaur
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On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

In another column exploring the likely cultural and zoological origins of Pokémon species, we take a look at Sandshrew and Sandslash.

Read more on Bulbanews
 
The Greatest Pokémon Ranger
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

It's not an armadillo? My childhood is ruined.

But this was very enlightening. Interesting animal to base a pokemon off of.

And people say that GameFreak is uncreative...
 
The Antithesis of Fun
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

This article was detailed, and amazing. Hmmm.... Pangolins...
 
Archosaur Enthusiast
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

And people say that GameFreak is uncreative...
People are odd like that. I mean,look at how many different variations of dragon,dogs,cats,etc there are, and they are just using the basic form of a dragon,dog,cat,etc
People keep saying how uncreative it is to have like, four+ turtle based pokemon,but each one varies in it's nature and looks,ya know?
 
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

I want to say I've heard of a pangolin before, but I can't say where. Oh well, this was another cool article.
 
Brock's Pikachu
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

Fascinating and interesting, as always!
 
Hurrrrr...
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

interesting, and I thought it was based off an armadillo or a porcupine. Goes to show that Game Freak DOES take inspiration from real life... Even though the idea of an electric squirrel doesn't seem to make that much sense.
 
....
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

Wow. A lot of people here don't know what a Pangolin is? I've always known it was based on that animal..Then again, I've always been a science and animal hog.
 
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Calvin Klein?
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

same 'ere
that probably explains why they are ground types, with no hair to wash, just keratin
 

PDL

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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

About the Pokédex classifications...

There's a pretty good reason why some of the species names don't make sense (Such as "Hermit Crab" for Slowbro).

It's mostly due to inaccurate translations. A more fitting translation for Slowbro's species would have been "Freeloader", but for some reason, one of guys in charge of naming things (Not the same person as the translator!) decided on Hermit Crab... It's also the reason why we have RageCandyBars desipte the fact that it isn't a candy bar.

Unfortunately I don't know what the accurate description Sandshrew would have gotten.
 
A magical girl, transforming very slowly
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

That's a good point, and at least some of the questionable species names can definitely be blamed on the localisation team: Blastoise's species, for example, should simply be 'Shell', so I've no idea where they pulled 'Shellfish' from. Slowbro's case isn't as clear-cut, since the species name in Japanese seemed to be playing off the multiple meanings of "yadokari" (Hermit crab/tenant/freeloader), and that doesn't really translate well, but I agree that 'freeloader' would have been a more appropriate choice.

When translating individual words, you're particularly vulnerable to problems with semantics. For instance, Rattata, Raticate, Pikachu, Raichu, Sandshrew and Sandslash are all 'Mouse Pokemon', a translation of their Japanese species name, 'Nezumi'. While in English we'd probably only refer to Pikachu and Raichu as mice, 'nezumi' is a broader term that covers both mice and rats. Japanese doesn't distinguish between those two groups in the same way that English does. (Interestingly, someone picked up on this early on in the series, and the Gen I and II games refer to Rattata and Raticate as rats rather than mice, before it was changed back in Gen III). As for Sandshrew and Sandslash being described as mice/nezumi... my hunch is that 'nezumi' is being slightly misused here in the same way that we misuse 'bug' in English...

To clarify, the word 'bug' technically refers to a specific order of insects, the Hemiptera, which includes aphids and cicadas. It's a very specific definition, but in more general, non-scientific usage, 'bug' is used to refer to any insect, plus things like spiders and centipedes. So how would you translate 'bug' into another language? It would be entirely dependent on what meaning was being used, and it can be hard to work out when meanings overlap like this.

As another aside, I don't like the fact that these names are referred to as 'species', either. This seems to be another slightly questionable translation - a better term might just be 'classification'. It creates all sorts of weird implications when you have multiple Pokemon sharing a 'species' name. Of course, the term 'species' is pretty inappropriate for describing Pokemon under any circumstances, since the proper definition of 'species' is a group of creatures that are (usually) only capable of breeding with each other, and not other groups... whereas Pokemon can happily breed across 'species'. But if I get into this too much, I'll end up invalidating the name of my own column, so I'll shut up now.
 
Nidoking Me!
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

There is one thing that was forgotten though out this entire thing...Shrews actually have a small build of poison they use they attack their prey which is primarily insects. Did anyone EVER question why it learned Poison Sting? Its based a little bit more on a shrew than ya thought eh? And shrews are rodents (mice).
 
追放されたバカ
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

Wow. A lot of people here don't know what a Pangolin is? I've always known it was based on that animal.
I'm one of the few who actually knows what they are, but I don't acknowledge them that much.

I never knew Sandshrew and Sandslash were based on them, though.
 
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

About the Pokédex classifications...

There's a pretty good reason why some of the species names don't make sense (Such as "Hermit Crab" for Slowbro).

It's mostly due to inaccurate translations. A more fitting translation for Slowbro's species would have been "Freeloader", but for some reason, one of guys in charge of naming things (Not the same person as the translator!) decided on Hermit Crab... It's also the reason why we have RageCandyBars desipte the fact that it isn't a candy bar.

Unfortunately I don't know what the accurate description Sandshrew would have gotten.
I don't completely understand the Slowbro thing but I guarentee that it has to do with the Shellder on its tail. Maybe the name is more refering to that, rather than the Slowbro itself.

But with that in mind is there some combination of animals that have this exact symbiotic relationship?

Also I think the games should make you have a shellder in your party for slowpoke to evolve...they just should.
 
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

I love Sandslash so it's pretty cool to have an article on them. Not only that but they're based off something cool. Pangolins. They're pretty cute.
 
Nugget found a Nugget
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

Well, I didn't know what a Pangolin was, but that is certainly the basis of Sandshrew and Sandslash. I think the Pangolin is much cuter than the Armadillo, which is what I originally thought was the creative basis. I feel like I have new found appreciation for this Gen I character. Go go Sandshrew! Go go Sandslash!

Oh, and I feel like us westerners have been misled by Sandshrew's name. It says Shrew in it which clearly makes the pokemon look like it had different origins. Psh.
 
Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

And shrews are rodents (mice).
No, they aren't. They're insectivores, like moles and hedgehogs.
 
1 in 213896052 don't suck
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

No, they aren't. They're insectivores, like moles and hedgehogs.
Yes, but those are rodents.

Actually shrews are not rodents at all. They are in the family Soricidae.
Which, I believe, are a subdivision of rodents.

interesting, and I thought it was based off an armadillo or a porcupine.
On the other hand, those are kind of the two halves of a Pangolin: spiky, and armoured. So you were, in a way, right.

Interestingly, I was recently showed the Wiki article on Pangolins. They really are curious little creatures, although Sandshrew/slash were, in my opinion, rather bland. Perhaps it was the (otherwise practical) colouring scheme.
I once met somebody who absolutely adored these two, just because they learn Earthquake by level up. I ended up holding a grudge against him, and challenged him to a battle if ever he should get a Level 100 Arceus, and I a level 100 Gallade. He was dumb enough to accept, although we're almost certainly never going to meet again.
On that same day, I met many others with ridiculous amounts of hacks in their games. I physically kept my DS away, for fear that my save file might get corrupted. I'm surprised...
Whoops! Off topic:sweat:
 
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Re: On the Origin of Species: Sandshrew and Sandslash: Investigating the inspirations

Yes, but those are rodents.
No, they are not. They are classed completely separately. It's a completely different order, Insectivora.
 
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