You would think, given how diverse our natural world is, that a mere 500 or so Pokemon would barely scratch the surface in terms of Pokemon based on real-life creatures. But even with the same animals being used for Pokemon design again and again – there are three based on ducks in the first 151 original Pokemon alone – not many corners of the animal kingdom have been left unturned.
Above: Psyduck (Wisdom), Golduck (Power) and Farfetch'd (Courage)
But even with all this repetition, trying to think of an animal that hasn't had a Pokemon based on it is tougher than you'd think. Kangaroo? Kangaskhan. Hyena? Mightyena. Sloth? Slakoth. Giraffe? Girafarig. And so on. That's not to say there aren't more than a few Pokemon that are difficult to classify in terms of real-life (Clefairy, for example), but we would roughly estimate that about 95% of Pokemon are based largely on a real-life animal or object. (Factoid: Did you know that a pika is a real rodent?) We're not advocating uncreative, animal-based Pokemon designs; it's just that so many Pokemon are already based on animals that it's impossible to talk about Pokemon design without referring to all the real-world stuff Pokemon are based on.
While obviously there are tons of individual species not covered by Pokemon, we tried to only include animals that haven't already had a close relative Pokefied – for example, there hasn't been a chipmunk Pokemon, but there has been a squirrel (Pachirisu) which is pretty close. That said, here are our eight picks for animals we're shocked haven't been made into Pokemon yet.
While Teddiursa and Ursaring are normal type, a koala Pokemon could easily have a Grass type added to it given how much time they spend up in tree limbs. A koala Pokemon moveset would definitely have to include Rest and possibly Sleep Talk given how notoriously sleepy they are, as well as a few moderate Grass type moves. Body slam could also work if you imagine them falling out of a nearby tree onto their enemy.
With so many water-type Pokemon, many of which are based on the same types of animals (there are a whopping six Pokemon designs based on sea slugs alone – Eastern Shellos, Western Shellos, Eastern Gastrodon, Western Gastrodon, Phione and Manaphy), it's surprising we haven't seen a dolphin-based Pokemon already.
Not only is the platypus one of the only egg-laying mammals, it's also one of the only venomous mammals. So naturally, a platypus-based Pokemon would have to be at least part Poison-type, and ideally be a Poison/Water combo. They look adorable on the surface, but male platypuses can deliver an excruciating poison sting via their venom-filled ankle spurs, the effects of which can last for weeks or months. If the rumors are true about new weather effects in Black & White, where, for example, you can set up a "poison field" to enhance the effectiveness of poison-type moves, a platypus Pokemon could be a formidable foe indeed.
While they’re not extremely big in real life, a Gila monster Pokemon should be pretty big, and increase dramatically in size over its evolutions. Even though in real life a Gila monster’s poison is relatively mild, the Pokemon version would have to be a Poison type, perhaps mixed with a Dragon or Dark type after its first evolution because of its big scaly lizard vibe. Its large size would also reflect a strong physical attack/defense stat.