Common Name: Stunky
Scientific Name: Pestillinecra Mestilidae Juvenile/Adolescent
Common Name: Skuntank
Scientific Name: Pestillinecra Mestillidae Adolescent/Adult
In this report, I will be focusing on the Pestillinecra Mestillidae Family. I gathered this information on a field study with my own Stunky, Ralphie.
The Pestillinecra Mestillidae are more commonly known as pole cats or stink weasels of the Pokémon world. These creatures are one of many Pokémon that have a very particular and usually offensive odor attached to their name. These odorous Pokémon are mammals and therefore, have a period of live birth in where the mother skunktank will care for her kits until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
As a juvenile, Stunkies are small quadruped animals that are covered in a thick, fluffy coat of dark purple fur. Their bellies and backs are a cream color that matches the color of its thick whiskers and top of its head. It has three sharp claws on each paw that it uses for both defense and for digging, as well as tearing bark off of the base of the trees and fallen logs to reveal the insects that may be living inside. Its tail's fur is frayed and proportionally larger than most of its body though the tail is shorter than what the fur suggests.
An adolescent Stunky will be nearly twice the size of its juvenile stage of life. It is around this age that the Stunky begins to eat huge amounts of food to match its growth. The fluffy fur around its torso and legs begin to thin as it gains weight. The fur on its "smashed" muzzle along with its paws begins to speck white as it loses the baby fat. Its legs begin to get sturdier and stronger as it grows.
As an adult, the Stunky is now officially considered a Skuntank. It is approximately three times the size as it was when it was an infant. Its tail has lengthened dramatically and has grown a new coat of thick fur along it, making it perfect for keeping the thinner fur alongside its back warm. Most Skuntanks will have their tails covering their backs and heads; this not only works as temperature control but makes them seem larger than they truly are, fooling potential predators who aren't deterred by their smell.
The Pestillinecra Mestillidae are most commonly found in heavily wooded areas however, there have been sightings of Skuntanks nesting underneath homes, bushes and digging dens in Eterna City. These Pokémon are very defensive and feel safe in places that give them full-body protection or cover while they rest.
Territorial Disputes and Pack-like Dynamics
These Pokémon, though not on the highest part of their food cycle, are respected in their community. Skuntanks especially, get vicious when their territory is encroached on. They will constantly patrol their territory markers, making sure their scent is fresh and pungent. If there has been any change, the Skuntank will search for countless hours for what caused it before marking the area with a seemingly stronger spray. The odor becomes so unbearable that the Skuntank has to search away from the area in order to catch prey that moved to escape the stench.
Stunky seem to have a resistance toward the Skuntank spray. It appears that they are even attracted to the smell of foreign and familiar Skuntank. They will commonly go into a Skuntank's territory to investigate and possibly meet the Skuntank that owns the area. I have seen different reactions with Skuntanks dealing with foreign Stunkies.
If the Skuntank is female and has Stunkies of her own, usually around her, she will attack the Stunky or chase it off. If the Skuntank is male or female without kits it may ignore the Stunky or even allow the young to follow it, sharing its meals with it and acting as if it is its own child. If the relationship between young Stunky and Skuntank improve, the Stunky and Skuntank will become a family. In the scenario, the family dynamic is similar to that of a pack except the numbers are very small.
When a Stunky grows up and has been in the territory of a friendly male, the dominant male will either challenge the younger Skuntank to establish its dominance or it will chase the younger out of its territory. Depending on how well the relationship was between the two, the Skuntanks may decide to share the territory and their kills with each other to maintain a strong bond.
This is less common with females as they usually grow up and stray from where they are raised to find a mate.
In the wild, Skuntanks are expected to live no more than 10 years due to particular bird Pokémon and other mammals that may threaten their existence as they try and gain more and more territory. Skunkies have a life expectancy of about two years if they do not stay with their parent or find another Skuntank to care for them.
Domesticated Skuntanks are expected to live over 30 years while skunkies do not have a determined lifespan. If the owner is careful and watchful of their skunky, it should be fine.
Attracting a Mate and Infant Life
Female Skuntanks release a pungent scent constantly when they are ready to mate. If after the first few days a male does not find her she will begin to move, purposefully going into a male's territory in order to try and coerce a mating from him. When and if she finds a mate, she will begin to judge him based on how strong his spray is, how strong he seems and how impressive his tail fluff is. Even after she has trekked for hours, if the male does not suit her standards she will leave him behind in search of another.
In an attempt to try and stop this rejection, the male Skuntank will groom his tail fluff constantly when he begins to smell a female near. He will also practice actions of strength, such as clawing the bark off of a tree or pushing dead or weak trees to the ground. If an attempt fails, the female may be turned off completely so the male will practice several times beforehand.
Male and Female Skuntanks only interest is to mate, while there have been few that stay together for longer periods of time, most separate after the first mating.
The female finds a suitable den, usually covered by plant life and hidden from the other Pokémon and nests there. To be sure no other will come close to her den; she sprays the area around it. She also does strong scenting in the actual den and several other places far from each other, presumably, to throw off predators and enemy Skuntanks.
She quickly moves in and out of her den, as if worried she might suddenly give birth before going out and collecting berries, herbs and killing easy prey to eat while she is there. Every meal she gathers she makes sure she has a surplus of and stores the rest in her den.
While she is giving birth, she constantly checks on her kits, licking them and coating them in her protective saliva. If she isn't careful, her scent may smother her kits as they are not immune to her scent yet so she will occasionally leave her den to air it before returning to bathe them. Her saliva protects their fur, young skin and exposed areas from dirt, insects and being injured by her accidental or defensive sprayings.
Infant Stunkies are completely dependent on their mother's scent as they are blind and deaf when they are born. Approximately a month after their birth, their eyes and ears open. This is a very large step for a young Stunky as they have learned to be tolerant of their scent as well as others while bearing through the scent. This harsh raising is what some speculate to be the reason why Stunkies and Skuntanks are seemingly immune to theirs as well as other harsh scents.
Communication and Perception
The many calls of Skuntank and their evolution from Stunky
The physical ailments of the family
Skuntank may be seen by some as one of the quiet Pokémon however when excited or speaking with other Pokémon it becomes very vocal. Skuntank has developed vocal chords that allow it to make a series of soft to piercing mews, bellows, and yowls depending on what it is trying to express. Along with this, it uses the scent glands in its mouth that it usually uses for attacks to create gargles and hisses.
Stunky learns many calls from listening to its parent as a kit and by listening to the calls of the Skuntank around it. If it was raised with another Stunky, they will have a conversation with each other while making new sounds that mimic their parent or come from their imagination. These new sounds seem to have meaning despite being made on the spot and don't disrupt the conversation in the slightest. I have even observed a Skuntank copying its young and using the new sound commonly.
Mother Skuntanks gargle at her kits to calm them and keep them quiet when there is possible danger around. She also gargles when she is with her mate, or a friend. Males are usually not heard gargling, so it is speculated to be a gender related call or call that has little or no meaning when used by a male.
Threatened Skuntanks and Skunkies will make a series of random and loud noises. These warnings will usually sound before they spray along with a rapid flick of its tail fluff.
Skuntanks and Skunkies have an intense odor that becomes unbearable when threatened. In battles, formal or wild, their scent will become increasingly strong and dangerous as the battle goes on. Enemies will be distracted by the overwhelming odor, making it easier for the skunky to attack or flee depending on the circumstances. If a skunky is in a desperate situation, it will release a large burst of spray from its rear and its mouth glands at once, damaging the foe greatly.
I would suggest great caution when trying to tame these creatures as they have several defensive sprays that may blind or burn your Pokémon as well as you. If you smell a strange odor or see strong smelling odor at your feet, a skunky or Skuntank may be shooting at you as a warning. It is best to stop where you are, do a slow 360 to try and pinpoint where it is and then move in the opposite direction. If you cannot see it, make a loud noise to try and scare the Pokémon away. A horn or clanging of metal would suffice, once the sound is made, the skunky or Skuntank will most likely retreat, leaving you alone.
Do not follow a retreating Skuntank or Skunky.
Skunkies are relatively solid on what they eat while they are in their juvenile stage. They usually focus on small insects and bugs, along with any small prey they can catch on their own. If they are being raised by a Skuntank they will rely on that Skuntank to feed them and only hunt for fun.
Skuntanks will eat anything they can subdue and I do mean anything, they are not picky at all. They have been seen eating from the garbage if they live close to cities and feeding on the kills of other predators. If they don't feel like hunting, they may wait for a predator to kill its meal before scaring the other off and stealing the food. The stench is usually enough to make the predator leave or try and escape with the kill. Skuntanks are not above fighting a predator for its kill; this may lead to two meals, making the extra effort worth it.