Poliwag undergoes a dramatic change when it evolves to Poliwhirl. The most notable difference is that it has become bigger and gained arms with gloved hands while losing its tail. The eyes have moved to the top of its head and it apparently loses its visible mouth. Its nostrils are now visible. The direction of the swirl on its abdomen, created by its internal organs showing through the skin, reverses from the clockwise pattern of its pre-evolution, to counterclockwise. The skin on most of Poliwhirl's body is moist, due to an oily fluid; however, the skin on its belly spiral feels smooth.
In addition to the abilities it had as Poliwag, Poliwhirl can now walk and swim even better than before. The surface of Poliwhirl's body is always wet and slick with an oily fluid. Because of this greasy covering, it can easily slip and slide out of the clutches of any enemy in battle. Staring at the swirl on Poliwhirl's belly may gradually cause drowsiness, a property that Poliwhirl puts to use when performing the move Hypnosis. As a Water-type, Poliwhirl can learn Water-type moves such as Bubble and Water Gun and, using its glove-like hands, moves like DoubleSlap and Wake-Up Slap. It can also learn Mud Shot and Mud Bomb, which can help it defend itself against Electric-types.
Poliwhirl is skilled at walking and thus is capable of living on land, but prefers to stay in water, where there is less danger. If it is out of water, it sweats to keep its skin moist. If it hears the echoing cries from its evolution, Politoed, it shall respond by gathering from far and wide.
Poliwhirl live in small freshwater ponds and lakes, usually ones that have an abundance of lily pads. They can be found in Kanto and Johto.
This Pokémon was unavailable prior to Generation I.