10 Animals That Technically Exist In The Pokémon Universe

While Pokémon largely take the place of animals in their universe, there are several instances of real animals making appearances in the series.

The Pokémon franchise has always used a wide variety of sources to inspire its signature cute creatures, but one of the biggest has always been real-life animals. From the rat-like Rattata to Infernape the monkey, hundreds of Pokémon are real animals with some kind of twist. In lots of Pokémon media, Pokémon are shown filling the same ecological niches as animals do in our world. The Pokémon Snap games are perhaps the best example of this, where Pokémon can be seen living out their lives in the wild.

However, there is plentiful evidence throughout the games and anime that Pokémon are not the only animals that exist in the Pokémon universe. The biggest piece of evidence is in Pokémon species names. Pikachu being classified as the Mouse Pokémon suggests the existence of normal mice. Beyond these classifications, there are several specific creatures that have appeared in the Pokémon franchise, suggesting there is more to that world than it seems.

10 Indian Elephants Might Actually Be Copperajah

Elephants are referenced in several Pokédex entries going all the way back to Fire Red. That game’s Pokédex entry for Raichu says that its intense voltage “can cause even an Indian elephant to faint.” The entry for Ghastly similarly says that “It can topple an Indian elephant by enveloping the prey in two seconds.” Raichu’s Dex entry in Pokémon Legends: Arceus makes a similar claim, but instead references the Pokémon Copperajah, which is based on the Indian elephant. The only elephant Pokémon in existence before Cuphant and Copperajah was the Phanpy line, which are Ground types and are therefore immune to Raichu’s electric attacks.

The Pokédex Suggests That Chameleons Are Real

Just like many Pokémon species classifications reference real-life animals, several Pokédex entries use animal qualities to describe those of Pokémon. The original Pokédex entries for Lickitung in Pokémon Red and Blue, as well as the entry from Leaf Green, say that “Its tongue can be extended like a chameleon’s.” Back in Generation I, there were no chameleon-like Pokémon to reference, but by the time Leaf Green rolled around, the chameleon-like Kecleon had been released. The fact that Lickitung’s Dex entry wasn’t updated in the same way that Raichu’s was suggests that chameleons really exist in the Pokémon world.

Clams Are Used As Items And Food

While there are several clam-like Pokémon like Shellder and Clamperl, there is evidence of even more non-Pokémon clams existing in the Pokémon world. The Shoal Shell is an item that, in Hoenn, could be used to create a Shell Bell. These items, while they appear to be shells, do not resemble any of the existing clam-like Pokémon. Clams are referenced several times in the anime as well, including clam juice snowcones in the episode “Beauty and the Beach” and a giant clam in the episode “The Misty Mermaid.”

The Pokémon World Is Full Of Insects

There are nearly a hundred Bug type Pokémon, but there appear to be even more bugs in the Pokémon universe. Several are referenced in the games, like when a trainer in the Battle Subway in Pokémon Black and White says that his wife is “mad as a hornet.”

The Old Amber item, used to create Aerodactyl, depicts a mosquito frozen in amber. Even one of the smallest Pokémon, Joltik, is fairly large for an insect, so there are lots of tiny butterflies, moths, and worms used in backgrounds and as scene-setting in both the games and the anime.

There Are Several Unknown Birds

While there are a lot of Pokémon that resemble birds, there are some unidentified birds in the series as well. The animation for the confused condition features some small yellow birds flying around the affected Pokémon’s head. A Weepinbell Pokémon card released in the Jungle expansion from 1997 shows a small bird perched on the Pokémon as well. An even more subtle piece of evidence is the sound design of the anime, which often features birds singing in the background. Since Pokémon all have established cries, any birdsong that doesn’t match up to these seems to suggest more mundane birds.

Fish Have Been Around Since The Beginning

One of the most common instances of real-life animals appearing in Pokémon, especially in the anime, is the ubiquity of fish. Misty’s gym in “The Water Flowers of Cerulean City” features fish tanks full of non-Pokémon fish, and plenty of underwater sequences feature fish swimming by. There are also several instances of fish being served as food, such as in Lumiose City’s restaurants Pokémon and and in a sequence where James and Meowth dream about food in the episode “The Punchy Pokémon.”

Chickens Seem To Be Raised As Livestock

While there are several pieces of evidence that some people actually like to eat Pokémon, it also seems that livestock animals like cows and chickens also exist in the Pokémon world. In the episode “Clefairy Tales,” Ash makes reference to cooking chicken, and fried chicken, chicken thighs, and other food items can be seen several times throughout the anime.

While it could be argued that these are actually cuts of meat taken from bird-like Pokémon, Meowth’s reference to “chicken feed” in the episode “Foul Weather Friends” seems to suggest farmed chickens of some kind.

Coral Is Used In Background Art

While coral may appear to be a non-living feature of the ocean floor, it is actually a colony of tiny animals. Corsola, the Coral Pokémon, is clearly one instance of coral appearing in the Pokémon world, but it is far from the only one. Coral is used as scene decoration for tons of underwater scenes in the anime, just like fish are. Similarly, plenty of Water type Pokémon cards feature coral in their artwork, including the Horsea from the Aquapolis expansion, Mantine from the Neo Destiny expansion, and Chinchou from the EX Hidden Legends expansion.

Mice Are Not Just Pikachu

Mice are most clearly referenced in the Pokémon species categories, but there are several other instances of mice appearing in Pokémon. A small green mouse appears on a Cinnabar Island souvenir cup in the anime episode “Riddle Me This,” bearing no resemblance to Pikachu or Raichu.

Pikachu is often called a mouse, not just “the Mouse Pokémon,” usually specifically as an “electric mouse,” suggesting that other, non-electrified mice exist as well. Additionally, mice can be seen being preyed upon by Bellsprout, Weepinbell, and Victreebel in A Hollow Victreebel, the 22nd round of the Pokémon Adventures manga.

Cats Are Referenced Constantly

Cats are referenced a ton in passing in the Pokémon video games, card game, and anime. In the anime episode “Tanks a Lot!,” Meowth references his favorite brand of cat food, which features a real cat on the can. The episode “Make Room for Gloom” features Poké-nip, which is said to affect Pokémon in the same way that catnip affects cats. Numerous attacks in the TCG referenced cats, including Cat Fleas, Cat Kick, Cat Punch, and Caturday. While cats don’t appear directly very often, the constant references make it seem likely that there are cats running around in the Pokémon world.

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