Woobat and Swoobat

We mentioned that Roggenrola sort of filled the role of Geodude, and we've also got a pokemon following in the footsteps (wingflaps?) of Zubat. The name even rhymes! WOOBAT! This happy little puffball, however, it a flying/psychic pokemon, the traditional foil of the poison type, with a "heart stamp" for a nose.

The basis for Woobat (image source here) is a very particular species of bat, Costa Rica's Ectophylla alba, and one of the world's most adorable mammals. Not just the design, but the "love" theme of Woobat draws directly from the real thing, as these tiny, tiny bats often live in very small but very close knit groups, often a single mated pair with a few of their offspring.

It's also worth mentioning that the white fur of these bats serves as a unique camouflaging mechanism; no mammal has evolved green fur, but as sunlight filters through the bat's leafy home, it gives their fur a greenish tinge and helps to hide their outline from predators. I mention all of this primarily because, in one of the pokemon's most impressive homework efforts, the "shiny" versions of Woobat and Swoobat actually have lightly green-tinged fur.

Swoobat, as a design, is a little less interesting than the simple, winged furball that is Woobat, but it's hard not to love the friendly, goofy face on this Chiropteran, the interestingly fused ears and the pincer-like dual tail.

The difference between the Zubat and Woobat lines are an interesting, if accidental, reflection of bats in our popular culture. In my lifetime alone, I've personally seen public consensus on bats go from abject revulsion to respectful curiosity, with bats increasingly played for cuteness over creepiness year after year, though I'm glad even the "cutesiest" bats retain a "spooky" atmosphere; it's not really that we stopped thinking of bats as weird night creatures, but that we increasingly love weird night creatures, just the way they are.

Sure, let's give them a five. They're bat pokemon that REALLY LOOK like bats, after all!