22 Pokémon inspired by rare EDGE species

by ZSL on

Over the last few weeks, you may have found yourself among the millions of people chasing Pokémon around town. But did you know that many Pokémon Go characters are inspired by real animals?

When it comes to Pokémon, the weirder the better, so it’s no surprise that so many endangered EDGE species have provided inspiration for these beloved characters.

EDGE species (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) are most unique species on the planet. With few or no close relatives on the tree of life, EDGE species are usually extremely distinct in the way they look, live and behave – as well as in their genetic make-up. 

Their weird and wonderful physical and behavioural traits make these rare animals a perfect match for the Pokémon world.

Check out our list to see which of your favourite characters resemble EDGE species.

1. Articuno and Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus)

Articuno-150x150.png Articuno-150x150.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                 Roger Le Guen


2. Bulbasaur and Bullock’s False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki)

Bulbasaur-150x150.png Tbullocki_claudiosotoazat-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                              Claudio Soto-Azat


3. Chansey and Olm (Proteus anguinus)

Chansey-150x150.png olm.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Arne Hodalič


4. Charmander and Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus)

Charmander-150x150.png chinesegiantsalamander11-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                    Nick Lindsay


5. Dewgong and Dugong (Dugong dugon)

Dewgong-150x150.png Dugong-Dugong-dugon-Patrick-Louisy.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                 Patrick Louisy


6. Drowzee and Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus)

Drowzee-150x150.png Asian-tapir-Tapirus-indicus.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                     ZSL


7. Farfetch’d and Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans)

Farfetchd-150x150.png Sichuan-Jay-Perisoreus-internigrans-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                     James Eaton


8. Mankey and Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus)

Mankey-150x150.png Barbary-Macaque-Macaca-sylvanus-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                        Howard Wu


9. Pikachu and Ili Pika (Ochotona iliensis)

Pikachu-150x150.png Ili-Pika-Ochotona-iliensis-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Li Weidong


10. Poliwrath and Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis)

Poliwrath-150x150.png Purple-frog-22-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                            Sathyabhama Das Biju


11. Primeape and Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus)

Primeape-150x150.png Red-Slender-Loris-Loris-tardigradus-Anna-Nekaris.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Anna Nekaris


12. Psyduck and Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Psyduck-150x150.png Platypus-Ornithorhynchus-anatinus-Dave-Watts.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                       Dave Watts


13. Rattata and Large Rock Rat (Cremnomys elvira)

Rattata-150x150.png Large-Rock-Rat-Cremnomys-elvira-Brawin-Kumar.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Brawin Kumar


14. Rhydon and Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Rhydon-150x150.png Javan-Rhinoceros-Rhinoceros-sondaicus-Klaus-Lang.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                         Klaus Lang


15. Rhyhorn and Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Rhyhorn-150x150.png Indian-Rhinoceros-Rhinoceros-unicornis-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Pete Oxford


16. Sandshrew and Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica)

Sandshrew-150x150.png Sunda-Pangolin-150x150.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                 Nguyen Van Thai


17. Sandslash and Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)

Sandslash-150x150.png Chinese-Pangolin-Manis-pentadactyla-Jason-Chin.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Jason Chin


18. Seel and Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus)

Seel-150x150.png Mediterranean-Monk-Seal-Monachus-monachus-Zafer-Kizilkaya.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Zafer Kizilkaya


19. Tauros and European Bison (Bison bonasus)

Tauros-150x150.png European-Bison-Bison-bonasus.jpg



20. Vaporeon and Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Vaporeon-150x150.png Axolotl-Ambystoma-mexicanum-Richard-Griffiths.png

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                Richard Griffiths


21. Vulpix and California Channel Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)

Vulpix-150x150.png California-Channel-Island-Fox-Urocyon-littoralis-Tim-Hauf.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                              Tim Hauf


22. Zubat and Cuban Greater Funnel-Eared Bat (Natalus primus)

Zubat-150x150.png Cuban-Greater-Funnel-Eared-Bat-Natalus-primus-1.jpg

Pokémon/Nintendo                                                                      Lida Sánchez


By Deanna Tricarico, EDGE of Existence programme.


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