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)
Pokémon/Nintendo Roger Le Guen
2. Bulbasaur and Bullock’s False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki)
Pokémon/Nintendo Claudio Soto-Azat
3. Chansey and Olm (Proteus anguinus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Arne Hodalič
4. Charmander and Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Nick Lindsay
5. Dewgong and Dugong (Dugong dugon)
Pokémon/Nintendo Patrick Louisy
6. Drowzee and Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus)
7. Farfetch’d and Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans)
Pokémon/Nintendo James Eaton
8. Mankey and Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Howard Wu
9. Pikachu and Ili Pika (Ochotona iliensis)
Pokémon/Nintendo Li Weidong
10. Poliwrath and Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis)
Pokémon/Nintendo Sathyabhama Das Biju
11. Primeape and Red Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Anna Nekaris
12. Psyduck and Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Dave Watts
13. Rattata and Large Rock Rat (Cremnomys elvira)
Pokémon/Nintendo Brawin Kumar
14. Rhydon and Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Klaus Lang
15. Rhyhorn and Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
Pokémon/Nintendo Pete Oxford
16. Sandshrew and Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica)
Pokémon/Nintendo Nguyen Van Thai
17. Sandslash and Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)
Pokémon/Nintendo Jason Chin
18. Seel and Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Zafer Kizilkaya
19. Tauros and European Bison (Bison bonasus)
20. Vaporeon and Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
Pokémon/Nintendo Richard Griffiths
21. Vulpix and California Channel Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)
Pokémon/Nintendo Tim Hauf
22. Zubat and Cuban Greater Funnel-Eared Bat (Natalus primus)
Pokémon/Nintendo Lida Sánchez
By Deanna Tricarico, EDGE of Existence programme.
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