Charizard are large, draconic Fire-type Pokémon, and the fully evolved form of Charmander, a species recognized as official Pokémon League Starters. As such, Charizard are relatively rare in the wild, and their habitats are under strict protection and regulation by the League. Charmander are commonly bred in captivity and distributed to beginning Pokémon Trainers, so it is not uncommon for experienced trainers to possess Charizard.
Charizard are upright-postured orange-scaled reptiles with a stocky build. Their long necks are slender, as are their skulls. The long forelimbs are built rather differently than most reptiles, being held out to the side with a rotating shoulder suited to grasping and climbing. The hind legs are short and heavy, with thick, blunt claws for digging into cliffsides. Charizard sport a third pair of limbs in the form of immense, leathery blue wings. Their tails are long, heavy, and incredibly flexible. Perhaps the most distinctive trait of the Char family is the flame that continually burns at the tail tip.
Charizard are highly adapted to flight. While they do not possess a keeled sternum the way birds do, their shoulder structure is highly unique and specialized to accommodate two pairs of limbs. The arm shoulders are pulled back and to the side to allow room for the wing muscles, and the massive coracoids connect with the wing shoulders, serving as an anchor for the wing pectorals. Despite their many adaptations, however, Charizard are still very bulky creatures, and are notoriously poor at unassisted takeoffs from the ground (this is consistent with their mountainous habitat).
Abilities and Traits
Like all Fire-type Pokémon, Charizard are capable of breathing fire. It is believed that this adaptation developed in all Fire-types based on environmental pressures, first as a system of heated gases in the body for temperature regulation in areas of extreme heat (essentially allowing the creatures to have a much higher internal temperature than normal, without damaging the other organs). Combined with their highly reactive elemental makeup, this allowed for the manifestation of fire elsewhere on the body, allowing for such techniques as Overheat and Fire Punch
This is taken another step forward with Charizard's more complex internal system of air sacs filled with lighter-than air gases, making Charizard remarkably light for their size. However, because this circulation of gases is linked to their respiratory system, it requires a crucial regulatory adaptation, which is where the tail flame comes in.
The tip of the Charizard family's tail secretes a highly unique flammable oil which is lit by the creature's mother at the moment of its birth. The heat and intensity of the flame is reliant upon its current energy levels. The flame actually allows the Pokémon to regulate both its internal temperature and its internal gases, ensuring that it can exhale flammable gases at will without inhibiting its respiratory functions.
The flame is incredibly resilient. While it is correct that the Pokémon will die if the flame goes out, that is not so easy to do, or the species would have died out. If a healthy Charizard is submerged, it will take at least a minute of fierce (and extremely painful) vaporization for the flame to be completely extinguished, and even then, the creature will not die if it manages to re-light the tail promptly.
Also of note is that while the tail oil is secreted at the tail tip, the actual gland is located within the gas system and channeled to the tail tip. This is why, if the tail tip is severed, oil as well as blood will leak from the wound. If this occurs, the Charizard will instinctively try to re-light the woundthis will save its life, but cause a great deal of pain and prevent the tail from healing properly.
An interesting property of the tail oil is that it is unique to each individual, so that a Char can never be harmed by its own tail flame, which carries unique chemical properties. In diseased individuals, however, the oil becomes polluted with toxins and burns less cleanly, and can even begin to eat through the tail flesh if left untreated.
In the wild, Charizard live in mountainous areas along cliffsides and obviously prefer warm regionsthis provides them with high takeoff points with warm updrafts for soaring. They even sometimes use their fire breath to heat the air below them to aid their flight.
Charizard are predatory, and almost invariably at the top of the food chain in any region they inhabit. They drop down on prey from the air while breathing out a vicious flamethrower before going for the kill with their wickedly sharp foreclaws. Because they primarily attack with their fire breath and claws, Charizard have slender skulls with relatively weak bite strength compared to other reptiles. The horns are blunt, and are not used for combat (they cannot take the stress that would be required), but rather to attract a mate.
Charizard tend to be extremely competitive, obsessively seeking out fights with powerful opponents to build their strength. This instinct applies whether they are wild or tamed, and trainers should ensure that their Charizard are given the chance to battle regularly. As with most Pokémon, they respond positively to Pokémon Training, seeing it as a mutually beneficial institution giving them the chance to battle many opponents and become strong; however, Charizard in particular can become rather ill-tempered and rebellious if they regard their trainer as not suitably skilled. But in the hands of a skilled trainer, Charizard are fiercely loyal companions.
Full Taxonomic Classification
----- Sub-kingdom Animalia
----- Sub-group Anguis