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"Pokémon" seen IRL

Started by icycatelf October 12th, 2019 10:40 AM
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icycatelf

Fake Card Artist

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Kentucky
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Here are some I've captured (on film) so far! (Some of these may not be species-specific to the Pokémon's origin—like how I used a European starling for Starly rather than the white-cheeked starling—but I feel that they're close enough to translate as such in the Pokémon world.)


BULBASAUR & IVYSAUR
Spoiler:




Bulbasaur and Ivysaur were confirmed in an interview to be based on frogs. They may draw inspiration from tree frogs given their Grass typing. Their polygonal spots resemble those on some toxic frogs.


VENUSAUR
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Being stockier than Bulbasaur and having obvious warts, Venusaur is most likely based on toads.


CHARMANDER
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Charmander's English name suggests that it may be based on salamanders, which are associated with the element of fire in Japanese mythology.


CATERPIE
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Caterpie is based on swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Some species (including this one) extend a foul-smelling Y-shaped defensive organ from above their head when threatened.


WEEDLE
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Weedle represents the larval stage of a wasp. It also has characteristics of stinging caterpillars, called "kemushi" in Japan (which is also Weedle's Japanese category).


KAKUNA
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While is appearance may be based on wasp or bee pupae in general, Kakuna's characteristic of dangling from a silk thread (as seen in the anime and some side games) seems to have been inspired by hanging parasitoid wasp cocoons.


BEEDRILL (SHINY)
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While based on an Asian giant hornet, Beedrill's green and blue Shiny palette may draw inspiration from cuckoo wasps (aka emerald wasps).


PIDGEY
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Though it could be based on a variety of small birds, Pidgey bears a striking resemblance to the Carolina wren.


PARAS & PARASECT
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Paras and Parasect are based on insects that have fallen victim to a parasitoid fungus. The base insect appears to be a cicada nymph, but Parasect also bears an uncanny resemblance to red velvet mites.


VENONAT
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Despite its name, Venonat seems to be based (at least partially) on hairy, venomous caterpillars. Megalopyge-genus caterpillars are particularly round, so it may draw inspiration from those.


VENOMOTH
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Venomoth seems to combine the idea of toxic moths (tiger moths) with the appearance of toxic swallowtail butterflies, such as the Pipevine Swallowtail (which may explain its Shiny colors).

(NOTE: This is a Spicebush Swallowtail, a mimic of the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail. However, according to author Phillip J. Schappert, there's indication that even this species may be distasteful.)


PERSIAN
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Persian is based on Siamese cats, though this was clearer in its Gen. I sprites. It's classified as a "Shamuneko (Siamese Cat) Pokémon" in the Japanese games.


POLIWHIRL
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Poliwhirl may be based on metamorph froglets (tadpoles with all four legs), despite lacking a tail. Poliwag would represent the tadpole with hindlegs, Poliwrath a froglet, and Politoed an adult frog.


KOFFING
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Though I'm not sure if it draws inspiration from them, Koffing (and Weezing) share some similarities with false puffball slime molds.


TANGELA
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Tangela is based on tangled vines, possibly leafless, parasitic vines such as the dodder (aka hairweed and witch's hair).


SCYTHER
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Scyther is based on the Japanese Giant Mantis. While these don't occur in the US, the Chinese Mantis (North America's largest mantid) belongs to the same genus and was once considered part of the same species.


PINSIR
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Pinsir is based on stag beetles.


OMANYTE (HELIX FOSSIL)
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The Helix Fossil (Omanyte) is based on ammonoid, ancient spiral-shelled squid, fossils.


SPINARAK
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Spinarak is based on spiders with face-like abdominal markings. Its build resembles that of a jumping spider.


ARIADOS
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Ariados appears to draw inspiration from various spiders, especially orb-weavers. Its erect, spine-like "hind legs" suggest that spiny orb-weavers (Gasteracantha or Micrathena) may be among these.


HOPPIP, SKIPLOOM, & JUMPLUFF
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This family is based on the life cycle of a dandelion.


YANMA (SHINY)
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While based on the Banded Darter dragonfly, Yanma's Shiny palette may draw inspiration from the Blue Dasher (or blue dragonflies in general).


UMBREON
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Umbreon seems to be based on black cats. Several TCG cards suggest that Umbreon is more cat-like than other speculated origins (such as foxes and rabbits).


MURKROW
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Murkrow is based on crows.


PINECO
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Pineco is based on bagworms whose cases superficially resemble pine cones, such as the Evergreen Bagworm.


FORRETRESS
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Though it more closely resembles a giant clam, Forretress may also draw inspiration from worms residing in walnut husks/shells.


DUNSPARCE
Spoiler:




Dunsparce is based on the Tsuchinoko cryptid of Japan (aka "bee snake," hence Dunsparce's bee-like qualities). While this snake-like creature has yet to be proven to exist, hornworms (sphinx/hawk moth caterpillars) are sometimes mistaken for it. Hornworms, especially those with eyespots, may have inspired some of Dunsparce's features.

The hoop snake is essentially America's version of the Tsuchinoko. Long rumored to give chase to humans, some believe that racers (along with other colubrids) may have inspired tales of this cryptid.


GLIGAR
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Gligar's design seems to be a pun on "scorpionfly."


HERACROSS (MEGA)
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Mega Heracross is based on Hercules Beetles.


BEAUTIFLY
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Beautifly is based on swallowtail butterflies.


DUSTOX
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Dustox is based on the Japanese Moon Moth, a close relative and lookalike of the American Luna Moth.


SEEDOT
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Seedot is based on acorns.


SURSKIT
Spoiler:


Surskit is based on water striders.


MASQUERAIN
Spoiler:




Masquerain seems to combine aspects of damselflies and moths with eyespots. However, it's also believed to draw inspiration from tropical lanternflies (not pictured).


NINCADA, NINJASK, & SHEDINJA
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This family is based on the life cycle of a cicada: nymph, adult, and shed skin.


TRAPINCH
Spoiler:


Trapinch is based on the larval stage of an antlion, also known as doodlebugs. The move Sand Tomb is based on the sand pit traps created by these insects.


VIBRAVA
Spoiler:


While representative of an adult antlion, Vibrava appears to draw more visual inspiration from mayflies. This may be a reference to the Japanese word for an adult antlion translating "thin-winged mayfly."


FLYGON
Spoiler:




Flygon represents the adult stage of an antlion. Its design and association with sandstorms may be a pun on "sanddragon" dragonflies.


CORPHISH & CRAWDAUNT
Spoiler:


Corphish and Crawdaunt are based on crayfish.


LILEEP (ROOT FOSSIL)
Spoiler:


The Root Fossil (Lileep) is based on crinoid—or "sea lily"—fossils.

(NOTE: This isn't a whole specimen, just the stalk.)


TURTWIG
Spoiler:


Turtwig may be based on land turtles (aka box turtles).


STARLY
Spoiler:


Starly is based on fledgling starlings.


KRICKETOT
Spoiler:


Kricketot is based on crickets.


BURMY
Spoiler:


Burmy is based on bagworms.


MOTHIM
Spoiler:








Mothim represents the adult stage of a bagworm, such as the Evergreen Bagworm Moth (first photo), which only emerge from their bags if male. However, its behavior and appearance draw more inspiration from hawk moths—especially Death's Head Hawkmoths.

While these honey-thieving moths don't occur in the US, we do have species from the same tribe (such as the Laurel Sphinx pictured in the second photo). Mothim's split wingtips suggest that it may draw inspiration from the irregular outer margin of some species outside this tribe (such as the Small-Eyed Sphinx in the third photo), so Mothim could be interpreted as a general representation of Sphingidae.

Mothim may also draw some inspiration from Crambidae, a family of moths known for their nose-like mouthparts.


COMBEE
Spoiler:


Combee is based on honey bees.


YANMEGA
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Yanmega draws inspiration from the Darner family of dragonflies.


LEAFEON
Spoiler:


Leafeon, like Persian, shares similarities with Siamese cats. In particular, it may be based on sub-breeds with plumed tails, such as the Balinese.

(Family pet)


PURRLOIN
Spoiler:


Purrloin appears to be based on bicolor (tuxedo) cats. Its "eyebrows" suggest that it may be based on tuxedo tabbies.

(Family pet)


PIDOVE
Spoiler:


Pidove is based on pigeons/doves.


SEWADDLE
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Sewaddle is believed to draw visual inspiration from Silver-Spotted Skipper caterpillars.


WHIRLIPEDE
Spoiler:


Whirlipede is based on the defensive or resting position of a millipede.


LILLIGANT
Spoiler:


Lilligant is based on lilies. Since it evolves via Sun Stone, it may be based on daylilies.


MINCCINO
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Minccino is based on chinchillas.

(Family pet)


VANILLITE, VANILLISH, & VANILLUXE
Spoiler:


This family is based on snow and icicles, but stylized to resemble ice cream.


SAWSBUCK
Spoiler:


Sawsbuck is based on deer.


JOLTIK
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Though its behavior is based on a tick, Joltik's appearance seems to draw more inspiration from jumping spiders.


FERROSEED
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Ferroseed seems to be based on cockelburs.


MANDIBUZZ
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Mandibuzz is based on vultures.


VOLCARONA (SHINY)
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Shiny Volcarona's spotted yellow wings bring to mind Imperial Moths, a type of giant silkmoth.


NOIBAT
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Noibat is based on the vespertilionid family of microbats.


ZYGARDE CELL
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Zygarde cells are believed to be based on planarian flatworms. (Close-up shows its "face.")



LITTEN & TORRACAT
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Litten and Torracat are based on tabby cats (the latter also drawing some inspiration from tigers).



PIKIPEK
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Pikipek is based on woodpeckers. (If the rumor about "regional evolutions" is true, I imagine that Pikipek would take a different path.)



CUTIEFLY & RIBOMBEE
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Cutiefly and Ribimbee are based on bee flies. Ribombee may be based specifically on the Greater Bee Fly, being larger in size and having a dark patch (its scarf).


ROCKRUFF
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Rockruff is based on Spitz breeds.

(Family pet)



MORELULL
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Though its English name is derived from a different genus, Morelull seems to draw more inspiration from "bonnet" mushrooms (Mycena), some of which exhibit bioluminescence.


DOTTLER
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Dottler seems to be based on a ladybird beetle pupa.


DREDNAW
Spoiler:


Drednaw is based on snapping turtles.


SIZZLIPEDE & CENTISKORCH
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Sizzlipede and Centiskorch seem to be a visual pun on "fire centipede."


ROLYCOLY
Spoiler:


Rolycoly is based on coal.


FROSMOTH
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While it appears to draw inspiration from other species (particularly the Indian Moon Moth), Frosmoth's Chinese names suggest that may also draw inspiration from flannel moths.


What "Pokémon" have you seen in real life? Also, just for fun, feel free to share what sort of team do you think you'd have based on things you've seen IRL.



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bobandbill

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Quite the list! Seems well researched too.

Focusing just on those based on animals? Some of the inanimate ones might be rather straightforward, but then there's stuff like me seeing the bell Bronzong is based on in a museum years back, which was pretty neat.

Sheep

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this is really cool

icycatelf

Fake Card Artist

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Added Scolipede.

Scolipede is believed to be based on the Scolopendra genus of centipedes, such as the Amazonian Giant Centipede. However, given the absence of this genus in New York and Scolipede's presence in Unova (a region based on New York), Scolipede could be interpreted as a general representation of Scolopendromorphs (bark centipedes, which includes Scolopendra). It may also represent centipedes as a whole.

Scolipede's Japanese name, Pendror, is also believed to come from Scolopendra. However, this spelling is closer to Scolopendromorph, further supporting that Scolipede may be a general representation of bark centipedes.

Quite the list! Seems well researched too.

Focusing just on those based on animals? Some of the inanimate ones might be rather straightforward, but then there's stuff like me seeing the bell Bronzong is based on in a museum years back, which was pretty neat.
I've also got some plants up there. I'm only focusing on things I've found in the wild, so I probably won't be adding any Pokémon based on man-made objects like Chimecho. However, come snowy weather I might take some pictures of snow-capped icicles for the Vanillite line.

How cool!

this is really cool
I'm glad you enjoy it!

Have you seen any "Pokémon" IRL?



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Sheep

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I assume I haven't seen any exciting ones other than obvious connections like Pidove/pigeon, but your thread makes me wonder just how many I may have missed. Dustox's inspiration is especially pretty, I had no idea its basis is such a beautiful-looking bug!

icycatelf

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Found Whirlipede, too!



Despite its classification as a Centipede Pokémon, Whirlipede draws more inspiration from millipedes which, unlike centipedes, curl up when resting or if threatened.

I assume I haven't seen any exciting ones other than obvious connections like Pidove/pigeon, but your thread makes me wonder just how many I may have missed. Dustox's inspiration is especially pretty, I had no idea its basis is such a beautiful-looking bug!
I hope this thread encourages more people to get out and make some discoveries!

I'm still disappointed that they didn't give Dustox those beautiful tails, despite its counterpart having them. My guess is that they wanted its wings to be more crescent-shaped, nodding to the "moon" in Moon Moth. It's a real shame that it didn't get a Mega in ORAS, which could've included the tails.



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Ash

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I was going to come in here and joke that I've seen a Kadabra (my cat) but man this is actually really amazing that you actually take your time to research and do all of this! Impressive!

icycatelf

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I was going to come in here and joke that I've seen a Kadabra (my cat) but man this is actually really amazing that you actually take your time to research and do all of this! Impressive!
Thanks!

Just out of curiosity, which cat (or cat-like) Pokémon does your cat remind you of the most? Mine's a grey longhair with tabby markings on his face (faint elsewhere), but I can't quite pin one down for him. I'm hoping that Meowth's rumored "spiky ball of grey fur" alt. evo for Sword/Shield will be a close match.



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Fairy

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Gotta really commend you for your effort here, Icy! If I conjure up any Pokémon comparable to irl animals I’ll be sure to contribute! :)


Soaring Sid

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Superb, Icy! The Volcarona, Dustox, Starly and Flygon ones were excellent! Whirlipede, too! You really put a lot of time and effort into this, it seems. Thanks for sharing this.

<~Trent (from this place) says the Wigglytuff circus above leads you to a nuzlockle run and credits Haychel for the avatar!

icycatelf

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Since I seem to be running out of IRL Pokémon to share, would you guys be interested in me sharing photos of things I think should be made into Pokémon? I could post maybe one per week to help keep the thread alive until the release of Sword & Shield. Off the top of my head, I can only think of six or so more current Pokémon whose real life counterparts I should be able to find around here.

Gotta really commend you for your effort here, Icy! If I conjure up any Pokémon comparable to irl animals I’ll be sure to contribute! :)
Thanks, and please do!

Superb, Icy! The Volcarona, Dustox, Starly and Flygon ones were excellent! Whirlipede, too! You really put a lot of time and effort into this, it seems. Thanks for sharing this.
Glad you enjoyed them! Flygon's one of my favorite entries here too. :D



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Fairy

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You could always add the ancient Coelacanth to represent Relicanth! In fact, most, if not all marine Pokemon have a basis in irl animals. Octillery, Mantine, Gorebyss, Remoraid, Alomomola.. the list goes on and on.

Sandslash and Pangolins are very similar as well! :)


icycatelf

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Added a better representation for Corphish/Crawdaunt, a red crayfish!

Wow these are all so cool and well researched! So much diversity as well. One of us needs to find a hedgehog soon so Shaymin can get added to the list.
That would be sweet! One I won't likely be getting since there are sadly no native hedgehogs in the US.

You could always add the ancient Coelacanth to represent Relicanth! In fact, most, if not all marine Pokemon have a basis in irl animals. Octillery, Mantine, Gorebyss, Remoraid, Alomomola.. the list goes on and on.

Sandslash and Pangolins are very similar as well! :)
I'm only adding things I've personally seen in the wild IRL. However, if you've seen these any of these (even in an aquarium, zoo, etc.) and have pics, please share!

How I wish we had pangolins here! Sandshrew and Sandslash were among my very first Pokémon toys, so it'd be really cool if I could find those IRL.



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icycatelf

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Added Lileep! I actually found this one a few years ago, but I was reluctant to add it since the fossil was missing the iconic crown (head). However, given that Mewtwo was created from a fossilized eyebrow and Aerodactyl from a preserved blood sample, I imagine that even just the stalk of a crinoid could be revived as Lileep.

Crinoids, aka sea lilies, are plant-like relatives of starfish.



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icycatelf

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Spinarak?



Though popularly believed to be based on the Hawaiian happy-face spider, Spinarak could be based on any number of spiders with face-like markings on their abdomen. This may include some jumping spiders, such as the bold jumper above, which share a similar body shape with Spinarak. Jumping spiders don't make webs like Spinarak, suggesting that Spinarak may draw inspiration from multiple spiders, but they still spin silk threads to help them get around.

I also added another contender for Ariados, a spotted orb-weaver.

It seems nobody brought Poliwag up.

Also the tentacool family.
I've definitely seen "Poliwag." I've been meaning to get a pic of one's belly.

I've only seen one jelly in my whole life. It was washed up on the beach when we went on vacation YEARS ago. I wasn't a big fan of the beach so I haven't been to one since...



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icycatelf

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Added Persian, Koffing, Tangela, and Rolycoly.



Although I'd been focusing on things I've seen in the wild, I decided to add our lynx point Siamese (Milly) as Persian. There are a few Pokémon that give me Siamese vibes, especially Absol with these colors, but Persian is actually classified as a Siamese Cat Pokémon in the Japanese games. Persian more closely resembled a Siamese cat in its Gen. I sprites.



While I was under the impression that Koffing was based on a virus pathogen (as seen under a microscope), I couldn't help but think of it when I found this false puffball (a slime mold) the other day. Both have a round body, lumpy texture, and spew a smoke-like fog, but further research would reveal that they had even more in common. Slime molds are actually amoebae that feed on bacteria (like Weezing), capable of splitting themselves into clones (bringing to mind how Koffing grows an extra head when it evolves).



Tangela may be a general representation of vines, but I feel that the dodder is a good match. Having no leaves of their own to photosynthesize with, these noodle-like vines (also known as hairweed and witch's hair) latch onto other plants with their fanged tendrils to steal nutrition. Truly a monster vine.



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icycatelf

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Kentucky
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First post here..cool list. Looks like you did some good research. Props.
Glad you enjoyed it!

That is a super cool collection of pictures of wild things. Do you own the fossils? And are you like a researcher or nature guide or park ranger or something?
I'm surprised you don't have any dog pokemons or goldeen/seaking -or other fishes- on there ahah
Thanks! The fossils were found by me. I'm not a professional by any means, just an appreciator of nature (though I rarely venture past my own yard).

I was avoiding pets until recently (I originally just wanted to add things I've found in the wild/caught myself), but I suppose my dad's spitz could pass for Growlithe/Arcanine. As for fish, minnows are the only ones in my immediate area.



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