Sure, we know a lot of Pokemon are based on animals, but some of those Pokemon are a lot MORE based on animals than you'd realize. Like, actually based on very specific species and containing very specific traits and features unique to certain types of animals. Here are 14 examples that will make you re-think everything you thought you knew about Pokemon.
Or, at least, make you go "Huh. Neat."
1. Poliwag is based on translucent tadpoles
Photo Credit: National Geographic
Sure you know Poliwags are meant to be tadpoles (and if you didn't...you probably have time to think about things other than what Pokemon are based on. Good for you). But the weird thing about Poliwag is a certain design choice that most wouldn't think has any significance. The swirl on Poliwag's (as well as Poliwhirl and Poliwrath's) stomach isn't just an aesthetic design - it's based on some species of translucent tadpoles' visible, swirled intestines.
2. Gorebyss is the long-nosed chimaera
Photo Credit: Fishtec
Gorebyss very closely resembles the long-nosed chimaera - particularly in the face: they both share the innocent, cutesy eyes and the long snout. Except, of course, Gorebyss looks pretty ridiculously cute and has Ariel-esque shells permanently attached to it, and the long-nosed chimaera is a creature from your nightmares made real.
3. Caterpie is based on the Eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar
Photo Credit: PernixNexus
Sure, Caterpies are based on caterpillars - but the specific design of Caterpie (including its weird attenae things) ARE based on a specific kind of caterpillar. Even more weirdly - that thing you thought was Caterpie's eye? NOPE. Just a marking on the caterpillar. Are Caterpies totally blind? Not saying definitively, but mine has missed A LOT of String Shots.