With the announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon Versions, the Internet, as the Internet does, has been abuzz with wild speculations of the new Pokémon to be introduced with this latest installment in the Pokémon franchise. Now, there may be those individuals who will gripe and complain about the ridiculous number of Pokémon there are now, lamenting the days of old when there were only the original 151, such glorious and creative designs those were. I’ll never forget the elegance of Grimer, or the originality of a seal Pokémon aptly named Seel. But my sarcasm aside, I’ll be the first to aid that the prospect of yet another generation does give me some anxiety, as I already have trouble keeping track of the current 722 Pokémon and their respective types, but on the bright site each new generation just gives me more material.
From my earliest days, the animal designs of certain Pokémon intrigued me, and pulled me into this wonderful world. Things as simple as a reference to an animal’s taxonomy in its name would excite me, and fill me with a certain sense of pride for recognizing a subtle nod back to the real-life creatures they were based on. Pokémon does not hide the fact that it frequently borrows designs from Mother Nature, in fact the franchise itself had its origins in bug collecting. But looking over the various generations of Pokémon, I’ve found it egregious that Six Generations in and some animals who obviously would make great Pokémon have not the honor. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Gen VI, but until then, I’ve constructed a list of three animals I think deserve a Pokémon the next generation.
- The Bombardier Beetle
It is a travesty that after six generations that there is not a bombardier beetle Pokémon. Never has there been a creature more fit for the Pokémon World than a beetle than shoots burning chemical compounds out its butt. Descriptions of this insect sound remarkably similar to those found in some PokéDex entries, for example, the National Center for Science Education writes, “This beetle defends itself by shooting boiling-hot fluids out its rear end at its attackers.”
Side note: In skimming the surface of bombardier research, I actually uncovered a controversy I was not previously aware of dealing with creationist and fans of intelligent design pointing toward the existence of the bombardier beetle as another example of irreducible complexity. Here’s a link to the article that debunks the claim pretty extensively. I encourage everyone to check it out.
The chemistry behind how the bombardier beetle produces its blast is fascinating to the say the least. Each beetle contains two reservoirs storing hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, which at combined in a chemical reaction that can produce heat close to the boiling point of water and the gas produced in this reaction projects the liquid forward at the target, often being fatal to fellow insects an leaving larger creatures, such as overly curious entomologist, with a nasty scald.
Out of all the animals on this list, this is the one I’m most hopeful will finally receive its due homage. The Bug-Types are in need of a strong species that can hold its own in competitive play, and with the right design and move set, a bombardier beetle Pokémon could prove to be a major competitive powerhouse.
- The Dolphin (Pink River Dolphin)
How is it possible that six generations into the franchise it has never crossed anyone’s mind to have a dolphin inspired Pokémon? Seriously Game Freak, we have a whale Pokémon, a shark Pokémon, a sea turtle Pokémon, plethora of fish Pokémon, Pokémon based on extinct marine creatures, we even have a manta ray Pokémon, yet no cetaceans except for Wailmer and Wailord.
An obvious candidate for design is the well-known bottlenose dolphin, they’re the ones that are usually jumping through hoops and giving rides to tourists. However, as loveable as these creatures are to the public masses, my favor falls a lesser known species that sadly doesn’t get enough attention – the Amazon River Dolphin, also known as the Pink River Dolphin.
Unlike their extroverted bottlenose cousins, Pink River Dolphins tend to be solitary creatures, roaming the Amazon basin alone only to occasionally group together in small pods. They have a very diverse diet, feeding on fish, crabs, and even turtles. However, as is the case with most creatures of the water these days, they are under threat due to habitat loss, pollution, and fishing nets. While there isn’t enough data for an official label, these creatures are becoming increasingly rare, and could very well disappear in the near future. (For more information, please visit the World Wildlife Fund’s page on the Pink River Dolphin)
I personally believe that aside from the obvious ethical issues with Pokémon battling, the overall message in Pokémon games is to bond with and understand these marvelous creatures, and in a way they stand as analogues to the fauna of our own world. It may just be wishful thinking on my part but I tend to believe that games can influence how we think and behave in real life, and perhaps the simple inclusion of these animals may raise awareness and garner the attention it deserves, so that future generations are not deprived of its magnificence and beauty.
- Gold Lion Tamarin
Once again I choose yet another animal under threat. What can I say? I’m a conservationist at heart.
This endangered New World Monkey is currently under siege by deforestation, with approximately 3,200 individuals left in the wild. I’m typically not the type of conservationist to equate aesthetic appeal to ecological value, but the Golden Lion Tamarin is my self-admitted “guilty pleasure” in this regard. I mean, just look at it and tell me you wouldn’t want one as a pet if it were legal and didn’t have various ethical questions surrounding such ownership.
Now, I’ve been hearing rumors that the new region could be based on Brazil. If that is the case, then the inclusion of a Golden Lion Tamarin is almost guarantee, since they are not only native to the country’s rainforests, but have become somewhat of a national icon, it’s even on their money.
There is nothing that would make me happier than seeing on the cover of Sun Version a glimmering Golden Lion Tamarin-based legendary, its glowing mane shining like the sun of its game’s namesake.
Those are my picks for animals that deserve their own Pokémon doppelgängers. List yours in the comments and don’t forget to share and subscribe!