Today’s post was written by Guest Professor Noah (jewishbookwyrm)! For more information on how to become a Guest Professor, please send us an ask.
Genderless pokémon. The general assumption is that they are sexless, correct? Well I have evidence to suggest otherwise. The most common genderless pokemon is ditto, which is also famous for being the breeder. But how can it breed if it is sexless? You might say that it transforms into the opposite gender to the Pokémon it is breeding with. But we know that’s not true for a number of reasons:
It can only transform into a replica of what it sees, and
Ditto retains its gender (or lack thereof) when it transforms in battle.
Solution: Ditto is hermaphroditic, meaning it has both male and female sexual organs, and retains that feature when it transforms. Amorphous hermaphrodites are pretty common in the real world, such as snails.
Starfish are also hermaphrodites, which explains Staryu’s lack of gender.
How does this translate to other genderless Pokémon? We see from the anime and some places in the game that many legendaries are not the same ones every time. For example, different Entei, Articuno, and Zapdos show up at different times in the anime. There is an episode where Lugia has a young, indicating that they breed.
Granted, in the games, you can only have one of each legendary, but different games in the same region have the same legendaries (even assuming only one of the two or three games per set is canon). Unless the main character of the previous game released them (which could be possible, but it’s just as possible otherwise), how could there be two?
So here is my answer: like ditto, many (not all) legendaries are hermaphroditic. In addition to this, they self-fertilize once every so often to produce the next of their kind. This can also be seen in the real world: there are a number of animals that can undergo parthenogenesis, in which an unfertilized egg can still develop into an embryo. This is mostly observed in captivity, but is possible in many fish, crustaceans, insects, spiders, lizards, and even birds like turkeys, chickens, and pigeons.
But what about Pokémon like Entei, whose pokédex entry specifically says how it is born?
Entei embodies the passion of magma. This Pokémon is thought to have been born in the eruption of a volcano. It sends up massive bursts of fire that utterly consume all that they touch.
My rebuttal to that would be that the dex doesn’t say that a volcano erupting is HOW entei is born, just that that is WHEN it is born. So my theory could still be possible in their case as well.
There still could be sexless Pokémon too. Definitely the Magnemite, Golurk, Porygon or Klink families, because they’re machines. Carbink, Minior, or Baltoy who are rocks. Shedinja, who is a mere husk of a former organism. Or Dhelmise, since many species of algae reproduce through cell division, making them asexual and genderless.