7 Pokémon from Sun and Moon and Their Real Life Animal Counterparts

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The Earth is full of strange animals we could never imagine. Game Freak knows that, and used this knowledge to take inspiration straight from the real world to create the first generation of Pokémon. Since then, they draw upon real creatures and the most bizarre objects, like a sand castle, while designing pokémon. 

Pokémon Sun & Moon are no different. Since they take place in an archipelago, many of the new pokémon look like paradisaical animals: toucans, koalas, lemurs and more. Others are based on more casual creatures, like the three starters showed above: Litten (A fire cat), Rowlet (A grass owl) and Popplio (A water sea lion).

In the following slides, you can take a look at seven pokémon from Sun & Moon and their real-life animal counterparts, which demonstrates that real animals are weirder than pokémon.

Yungoos - Small Asian Mongoose

Yungoos is a normal type pokémon, whose name derives from young and mongoose. It is one of the first pokémon we can catch in Pokémon Sun & Moon and it is based on the small Asian mongoose. As its name states, its habitat covers a vast majority of Asia, and also other countries outside of the continent. Small Asian Mongooses usually live alone, and they only share burrows occasionally.

Yungoos' sharp teeth and menacing smile come from the aggressive behavior of small Asian Mongooses. These animals eat all sorts of bugs, and even some snakes and birds. This has become a problem in the countries they were introduced, since they can endanger local species that do not have a natural predator.

Toucannon - Toco Toucan

Toucannon is the final evolution of Pikipek, which acts as the Pidgey of this generation. This flying pokémon is directly based on the toco toucan, the most recognizable and largest species in the toucan family. Toucannon conserves most of the colorful details of this curious bird, like the black and orange peak, the red skirt or the blue pupils. 

Toco toucans come from South America, mostly from Brazil. It is a common attraction in zoos from all over the world, since they attract the visitors' attention with its striking, colorful traits, and its imposing beak. You might also remember this species from the movie Rio, which features Rafael, a romantic toco toucan fond of Carnival with seventeen offspring (yikes).

Araquanid - Diving Bell Spider

Araquanid is a dual type water/bug pokémon and the evolution of Dewpider. I am sorry to tell you that this pokémon is also based on a real world creature: the diving bell spider. Yes, I know what you are thinking. A spider that breathes under water? How can this exist? Unfortunately, it does... Kind of.

The diving bell spider spends most of its life underwater, but it has lungs instead of gills. In order to breathe, the arachnid makes an air chamber with silk and sticks it to a sub-aquatic plant. To fill the space, it catches bubbles from the surface and drags them to the chamber with the thin fur that covers its body. Weird...

Oranguru - Orangutan

Oranguru comes from the combination of the words orangutan and guru. It is a dual-type normal/physchic pokémon which is based on the pongos, the scientific term that refers to, guess what, orangutans. Orangurus live in solitude in the woods and they rarely perform any kind of physical activity. On the contrary, orangutans are very territorial, and like to copulate with a vast variety of females.

Both orangurus and their real-life counterparts are very intelligent. In Pokémon Sun & Moon, people believed orangurus were humans that lived in the depth of the forests, taking care of all the creatures in them. In the real world, there are groups of orangutans that use tools to provide food for themselves.

Passimian - Lemur

Passimian is a lemur-looking, fighting-type pokémon exclusive to Pokémon SunPassimians act like quarterbacks, as its posture suggests. They work as a team, use berries to attack and coordinate to pass the fruits between each other to disconcert the rival. Lemurs are extremely social as well, but they do not act like that.

Lemurs are a species of primates endemic to Madagascar. They stand out as probably the most characteristic species from the island, due to their shiny eyes, nocturnal habits, long tails and high-pitched, sudden voices. They share many traits with regular primates, like their hands, feet and nails. However, they do not possess their intelligence and have a wet nose.

Komala - Koala

This cute, normal-type pokémon is always asleep. It eats, drinks and even fights while sleeping, and its saliva is a great remedy to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Komala uses its log as a weapon during battles, and it also serves as its pillow.

Komala acts and looks like a real koala, but its real-life counterpart is not as sleepy. However, koalas can sleep up to 22 hours. And that does not even include hibernation! This happens because their diet, which mainly consists on eucalyptus' leaves, does not contain enough nutrients and calories to carry a more active style of life. They are also very antisocial and the only real bond they develop is between mother and child.

Bruxish - Reef Triggerfish

This fabulous and odd pokémon is dual type, water and psychic. Its name comes from bruxism, an oral parafunctional activity, which consist in excessive teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching. This is reminiscent of the reef triggerfish, its real-life animal counterpart, whose teeth are set close together inside its mouth.

This species inhabits the reefs in the Indo-Pacific. It was the Hawaiian official fish for five years and its name is one of the largest words in the Hawaiian language: humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, or just humuhumu for short, which means "triggerfish with a snout like a pig". Good luck remembering it.

These are just some of the seventh generation pokémon that are based on animals from all over the world, but that is only the beginning as there are so many more in Pokémon Sun and Moon, like Vibravolt (Beetle), Mudsdale (Horse) or UB-01 Symbiont (Jellyfish), as well as previous installments of the franchise.

What do you think about these pokémon? Which pokémon would you like to see based on a real-life animal? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Published Nov. 30th 2016

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Graduate in Bilingual Journalism & Media Studies in San Pablo CEU University, Madrid. Aspiring video game journalist. My dream is to work for IGN.

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