Pokemon: Why Male Torchic Have Butt Dots

A tiny dot on the rear ends of male Torchic refers to an important poultry technique founded in Japan. Dozens of Pokemon species have visually distinctive differences in gender, a reference to sexual dimorphism in many different real world animal species. Most of these differences are subtle, such as male Pikachu having a flat tail ends and female Pikachu having "heart shaped" tail ends, while others are a bit more noticeable, such as how Meowstic have white fur while male Meowstic have dark blue fur. Perhaps the most subtle Pokemon gender difference is Torchic, as male Torchic has a barely noticeable dark dot on their rear ends.

While seemingly random, the dark dot is a reference to a poultry technique founded in Japan called "sex venting," while allows poultry farmers to tell the difference between a male chick and a female chick when they're first born. Newborn chickens have no external genitalia, so it was impossible to tell whether a chick was male or female until they grew older. Female chicks can eventually become egg-producing hens, so it's important to the massive poultry industry to know whether a chick is male or female as soon as possible.

In the 1920s, the Japanese developed the "sex venting" technique, that allowed trained sexers to tell the difference between newborn male and female chicks. The technique involves squeezing the feces out of a newborn chick, which opens up the anal vent and gives the sexer a chance to see whether the vent has a small bump inside, which denotes it as a male. This was a literally revolutionary technique for the egg industry, and led to thousands of Japanese workers immigrating to the United States to become chicken sexers at egg farms and poultry plants.

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Of course, this raises some odd questions about the dark dot on Torchic's rear end. Is this meant to be Torchic's butthole, or just a bit of fecal matter left over from when Torchic had its butt squeezed when it first hatched from an egg? And why are people sexing Torchic in the Pokemon world? While real-world poultry breeders use a chick's sex to decide whether a chick should be placed aside for egg production or meat production, there's no evidence of human inhabitants of the Pokemon world eating either Torchic eggs or Torchic meat. Maybe it has to do with Torchic's nearly 3 to 1 gender ratio, since female Torchic (and other Starter Pokemon species) are noticeably rarer than their male counterparts.

Whatever the reason, just remember that the little dot you see on your Torchic's butt isn't some sort of visual glitch, but rather a reference to a Japanese technique that shaped an entire real world industry.

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