Each time a new Pokemon game is released, I'm always amazed at the weird, wacky and wonderful new monsters that appear with each iteration. If you've ever wondered where the developers at Game Freak get their inspiration, look no further than nature!
That's right, Pokemon are (literally) all around us, intertwined in the limitless breadth and beauty of nature. You just have to look closely...
1. Mudkip / The Axolotl
I've never seen anything like Mudkip before, but that's because I never even knew the Axolotl existed. This Salamander-like Amphibia has the same three-pronged cheek structure as Mudkip, as well as a love for water guns.
2. Shellos / Chromodoris Lochi
The elegant-looking Chromodoris Lochi is a species of colorful sea slug that can be found in the tropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific region. It's a beautiful creature and even shares aesthetic elements with Shellos' evolved form, Gastrodon.
3. Magikarp / Yellow Eyed Rockfish
Quite possibly the most useless and infuriating Pokemon to have ever graced a Pokeball, the splash obsessed Magikarp isn't the easiest to get along with.
If you, like me, were infuriated with the amount of time it took to train, then consider the Yellow Eyed Rockfish - it's one of the world's longest-lived fish species, able to survive for up to 120 years! With a life-span that long, I wouldn't be in a hurry to learn much either.
4. Victreebel / Pitcher Plant
Believe it or not, the formidable Pitcher Plant is almost as dangerous as the fang-sprouting Pokemon it inspired, boasting a trapping mechanism that imprisons their prey in a pit of sticky liquid. They've even been known to capture and devour whole birds!
5. Drowzee / Malayan Tapir
The Asian-based Malayan Tapir may not be psychic (as far as we know), but it does share just about every other physical attribute with Drowzee.
Did you think that black pupil-looking thing was Caterpie's eye? Well, it's not - it's actually a purely decorative marking it shares with the Swallowtail Caterpillar. That's why all my String Shots kept missing!
7. Luvdisc / The Kissing Gourami
I'm not gonna lie: Luvdisc looks dumb. But, it's at least interesting to know that the heart-shaped romantic was based on an equally doting lip-locker - the Kissing Gourami. These fish can often be seen 'kissing' each other, which is actually a form of sparring.