Non-taxonomic zoological category: Latexphera
- Lifeform utilizes latex in pure or vulcanized form as a structural element in its cells (or cell-like structures) comparable to role of collagen, keratin, or cellulose.
Latexphera organisms may additionally possess latex in their bodily fluids, or utilize digestive enzymes that break down vulcanized rubber; but these qualities are not sufficiently to earn them the definition by themselves. Additionally, contrary to popular belief most latexphera organisms can digest other carbon based lifeforms, and do not always strictly require the ingestion of latex in their diets.
Specimens █████ ██████, Veladerm physa, █████ ███████ Obdulucus pontivea, and ███ ████████ were the first organisms to earn the definition Latexphera when they were first observed in the 1916 Incursion Incident codenamed: Inkwell.
The evolution of Latexphera organisms is hotly debated. It's hypothesized that Latexphera are not a single lineage, but a case of convergence on a single body plan. The leading theory is that they may have evolved similar traits as part of an evolutionary arms race where heavily predated species were forced to make themselves harder, and harder to digest while predators evolved to break down their tissues with increasingly harsh digestive enzymes. However, this explanation does not account for the evolution of apex predators like █████ ███████████ or █████ ███ which also feature rubberized tissues despite not being heavily predated.
The biochemistry of Latexphera tissues makes them vulnerable to:
- Organic acids (Particularly Limonene.)
- Salt (Particularly calcium nitrate, zinc, and other multivalent cations.)
Exposure to these hazards may cause chemical burns, or melt unprotected tissues. Some species may utilize additional surface coatings or chlorination to provide some resistance, but these effects are often skin deep and may be overpowered in events of prolonged exposure.
>>>ACCESSING POST-UNDERGROWTH FIELD REPORTS:
PNW-L1 "Latexphera enclosure"
4km below the Cascadia mountain range, the facility opens up into a large vented chamber. The transition has blurred with escaped flora spilling out, but we can readily observe the threshold into another world at its edge-
Credit & License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Original concept and writing by https://twitter.com/Jakuryusei
Chemistry assistance by Sin Haze