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A couple of decades ago, precisely two, Pokémon began with plenty of designs that have been reminiscent of real-life creatures.
The world of Pokémon is home to such a large and varied collection of creatures that were created and inspired by many of the animals that currently or once called the Earth home. And quite a number of these Pokémon resemble the old and extinct reptiles that wandered the earth. Therefore, they range from obscure invertebrates from more than 500 million years ago to the iconic Cretaceous dinosaurs.
While there are about 900 types of Pokémons in the franchise, dinosaurs haven’t been included, but many designs are inspired by these ancient reptiles. Here are the 15 most popular fossil and dinosaur Pokémons in the entire franchise.
1. Anorith and Armaldo: Anomalocaris
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The predator Anomalocaris is present in the game as the bug Pokémon Anorith and Armaldo. Just like their real-world companion, the Pokémon are marine and can swim with the wing-like appendages on the sides of their bodies.
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The twin appendages near the front end of its head were likely used to catch prey, a view also mentioned in the games. The Amaldo, the evolved form, has a bipedal stance and its terrestrial nature is fondly the designer’s artistic license. Anorith doesn’t change their morphology; they are true Anomalocaris.
2. Kabuto and Kabutops: Trilobites, Horseshoe Crabs, Sea Scorpions
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With over 17,000 species known to science, inspiring the Pokémon Kabuto and Kabutops, Trilobites were a highly diverse group. Kabuto lived for about 250 million years, and they branched out to produce various kinds of body shapes. Till the present day, Kabuto is said to still exist in the Pokémon world. And that may suggest it’s partially inspired by another group of arthropods called the limulids, or horseshoe crabs, which is called kabutogani in Japanese.
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With just about four living species still roaming the shores of Southeast Asia, East Asia, the American Atlantic coast, and the Gulf of Mexico, Horseshoe seemed to appear a bit later than trilobites.
The predatory Kabutops and its sickle claws, on the other hand, may be loosely based on the sea scorpions or eurypterids. One notable member of the group is the gigantic Jaekelopterus, potentially the largest arthropod ever to have lived, which could have grown beyond 250cm (8ft). Amazing!!
3. Lileep and Cradily: Sea lilies
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The age of the Ordovician began after the Cambrian went into extinction. And quite the happening, it is known for the first appearance of fishes, the first group of vertebrates to populate the Earth. Well, on the contrary, some game freak seemed to prefer another group of organisms that blossomed during the age of the Ordovician. These organisms are generally called sea lilies, some called the crinoids.
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These crinoids are actually animals grouped together with starfish and sea urchins under the phylum Echinodermata. These soft-bodied creatures are known for their spiky bodies and radial symmetry, giving them the superficial resemblance to flowers.
While some living members of the group do not actually possess stalks, many crinoids are indeed mostly immobile like Lileep and Cradily.
Without stalks, they, crinoids, are collectively known as feather stars, and they are capable of free-swimming.
4. Omanyte and Omastar: Ammonites
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Some 400 million years ago, it was the turn of another aquatic invertebrate, Omanyte. The shell cephalopods, ammonites, star in the game, “Twitch Plays Pokémon”, in 2014 as Omastar and Omanyte. The Pokémon attracted so much attention during the crowdsourced gaming experience.
The name, ammonite, comes from the ancient Egyptian god of Ammon often depicted wearing coupled ram horns similar in structure to the typical ammonite shell.
Source by: Efraimstochter on Pixabay
In reality, though, the Ammonites went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. And you should know not all ammonites are alike. While some ammonites reached enormous sizes, some curled at random directions or uncoiled their shell into a cone-shape instead.
5. irtouga and Carracosta: Archelon
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Source by: paleontology.us
Tirtouga and Carracosta make up the last set of aquatic Pokémon that went extinct. Both are defined on the Late Cretaceous giant turtle Archelon or its slightly smaller relative Protostega.
Both turtles are known to be related to today’s leatherback turtle. It’s called leatherback because instead of a solid shell, it sports a leathery back.
Apart from the freshwater Stupendemys, Archelon’s size, at more than 4m (13 ft), is the largest turtle ever to have lived in the sea, beaten. And that’s why it’s so popular.
6. Shieldon and Bastiodon: Chasmosaurus
Source by: Bastiodon Propaganda on Twitter
Impressively, the fourth generation of the Pokémon, the dinosaur fossil Pokémon, availed players the opportunity to choose from two dinosaur headgear; the marginocephalians: Cranidos the Pachycephalosaurus or Shieldon the ceratopsian.
Cranidos and its evolution Rampardos are known for their extremely high attack and head-butting tendencies, a direct reference to Pachycephalosaurus’ thickened bony head.
While their designs are similar to ornamental elements from Stygimoloch or Dracorex, which seem to be the juvenile forms of Pachycephalosaurus to some researchers today, Shieldon and its evolved form Bastiodon lean toward the defensive playstyle.
7. Amaura and Aurorus: Amargasaurus
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The sixth generation of the game, in the year 2013, came with the tyrant king dinosaur introduced as Tyrunt and Tyrantrum.
Tyrunt and Tyrantrum both have big heads, heavy bodies, and feathers, quite to the delight of paleontology lovers. The other fossil Pokémon line offered in this generation is inspired by another well-known dinosaur group breaking the trend of picking obscure extinct animals.
While some Game Freak did deter the most well-known members of the giants by choosing Amargasaurus as the backbone of their design, both Amaura and its evolution Aurorus are without doubts sauropods.
This Cretaceous dinosaur, Amaura, is famous for its two rows of extended spines on the back of its neck. Aurorus, on the contrary, is taken to the extreme. The solid structures are removed from their back and replaced by a pair of wavy, aurora-like leathery sails to solidify the ice theme.
8. Archen and Archeops: Archaeopteryx
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Source by: Harry Potter Fanon Wiki
The iconic fossil Archaeopteryx forms the basis for the last dinosaurian creature. Archen and Archeops are dinosaurs with long tails, fully grown feathers, and visible teeth. They are sometimes known as the first bird Pokémon. Both Archen and Archeops are not the typical battle dinosaurs. Archen seems incapable of flight, and Archeops constantly wobble as it hovers on the battlefield.
And even its in-game description clearly states that Archeops is more suited to terrestrial life, akin to the real Archaeopteryx.
9. Aerodactyl: Pterosaurs
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Source by: Mrganso
Aerodactyl is believed to be similar to a pterosaur and it’s one of the first generations of fossil Pokémon to be introduced.
Its anatomical features are mixed with various dragon features, making it impossible to pin down to a specific genus. Its Japanese name, Ptera, pretty much gives away its pterosaurian influence.
10. Dracozolt: T-Rex
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Pokémon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC as a new legendary in the franchise, the eighth generation, came with the introduction of Dracozolt.
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Dracozolt is a dual-type of electric and dragon. And clearly, dinosaurs did inspire this Pokémon, as it has the signature tiny T-Rex hands, large feet, and long tail to prove it. And considering that it’s a “fossil” Pokémon puts it beyond doubt.
11. Feraligatr: Mosasaurus
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The movie, Jurassic World, featured Mosasaurus (a realistic dinosaur costume of course), which was the giant alligator-like creature that leaped out of the water during the movie’s climactic third act. Feraligatr, with legs that could walk on land as a water-type Pokémon, is like a distant cousin of Mosasaurus. It has a primal design and intimidatingly enormous stature.
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And thanks to its weight, Feraligatr has trouble supporting its weight out of water according to the PokéDex which makes it sound like this big guy belongs in the water.
12. Tropius: Brachiosaurus
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Source by: Thoughtco
Picture a flying brachiosaurus, that’s exactly how a Tropius looks like. Although Tropius is often forgotten about in the world of Pokémon, this long-neck herbivore features a dual-typing of grass and flying. Thanks to the giant leaves protruding from its back, Tropius is capable of flight. However, the leaves are just that, they’re not wings at all. Tropius glides and flaps the leaves with such force that they can lift them in the air and act as wings. This thing looks like a cross between a Brachiosaurus and a banana tree as the fruit grows out from its neck twice a year.
13. Haxorus: Theropod
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Arguably the most unlike dinosaur, Haxorus displays so much strength and ancient reptilian energy. Haxorus is kind, very passive but will go to any length to defend its territory.
It has mandibles bulging from its face, which serve as tusks, and a rigid armor surrounding its body. Haxorus has two previous forms which are much more dinosaur-like and, fortunately, it happens to be the one that makes it feel more like a pokémon and less like an actual creature.
14. Rampardos: Pachycephalosaurus
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Rampardos’ design and personality are not too different than the notable thick-skulled dinosaur species which go by the very long name of Pachycephalosaurus. And for the record, Rampardos is a hard-headed pokémon by every form of the definition and uses its head with reckless unrestrained. Rampardos are characterized by thick skulls that impede their brain growth which results in their adolescent behaviors into adulthood.
15. Lapras: Plesiosaurus
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Kudos to the animal legend known as the Loch Ness Monster, Lapras, one of the Kanto region’s most lovable and cherished pokémon.
Mythically, some believe the Lapras to be the last living Plesiosaurus, a water-dwelling dinosaur that resembled the Brachiosaurus in many ways.
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Talk of remaining loyal and true, Lapras is on that list; Lapras stayed authentic to what a Plesiosaurus is. However, it did add a neat turtle shell that acts as a natural saddle for the trainers and/or passengers it carts across the lakes, oceans, and rivers.
That’s it on our top 15 fossil and dinosaur Pokémon. They are powerful, famous and will thrill the fandom of Pokémon.
To make the thrill more enduring, check out our Animatronic Dinosaurs if any of them can satisfy your dinosaur Pokémon desires. The Dinosaur Puppets blink their eyes, open and close their mouths, and even move their legs. A true fan of dinosaur Pokémon will undoubtedly like to have one.