Biologists created a new way of playing Pokémon Go.

Love it or hate it, Pokémon Go has turned into a global phenomenon.

The new mobile augmented-reality game sends Pokémon trainers on literal treks around their neighborhoods in search of rare and mysterious "pocket monsters" with a multitude of powers and strengths.

You're not going to catch that Drowzee with a regular pokéball. You're gonna need a great ball, pal. Photo by George Clerk/Getty Images.


The game is popular across nations and generations and is already estimated to be on around 5% of smartphones. Not too shabby for five weeks in the app stores.

With more people outside exploring their neighborhood and public spaces in search of Pokémon, one government agency is getting in on the fun.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists compared the look and powers of Pokémon to real-life animals to create ... (wait for it) ... Wildlife Go.

The social media campaign features 15 digital trading cards pairing Pokémon with vulnerable or endangered creatures found in national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries.

"One of the things that we've done is look at species of Pokémon that look similar to species that Fish and Wildlife are responsible for, like the endangered Fender's blue butterfly, which looks a lot like the Pokemon character the butterfree," Megan Nagel with the FWS told KVAL-TV.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

But there are plenty more where that came from. Check out the superpowers of nine real animals in your neck of the woods.

1. Gray wolves communicate by howling, dancing, crouching, whimpering, and barking.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

2. The large Pacific green turtle nests in more than 80 countries!

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

3. Yellow-faced bees are so vital to Hawaiian flora that a continued decline in their population may lead to a loss of native plants.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

5. With wings that can stretch nearly 10 feet, the California condor is the largest flying bird in North America.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

6. Wigglytuffs are cute, but they've got nothing on pygmy rabbits, which weigh one pound and are less than a foot long.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

7. The Oregon chub was once endangered, but thanks to conservation efforts, the species status has improved tremendously. Meanwhile, the Magikarp continues to flop aimlessly.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

8. While the Mazama pocket gopher is small enough to fit in your pocket, it got its peculiar name from the fur-lined pockets on the side of its mouth.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

9. The little brown bat uses echolocation to find prey. It needs to eat half of its body weight in bugs each night to stave off malnourishment.

Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

And interestingly enough, the delightful campaign brings Pokémon full circle.

Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri was inspired to create the game after reminiscing about discovering and collecting bugs as a kid.

"Kids play inside their homes now, and a lot had forgotten about catching insects," Tajiri told Time magazine in 1999. "So had I. When I was making games, something clicked and I decided to make a game with that concept."

Both Pokémon Go and Wildlife Go get kids and the young at heart back outside to play and explore. So next time you're out trekking or training, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the rare and wonderful creatures we share our world with.

But also ... you should catch that Squirtle. Photo by KeongDaGreat/Getty Images.

Most Shared
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture