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Imagine a sessile, multi-cellular slime like organism (or whatever necessary) awaits in a burrow or along a tree branch. Then an animal lands in its ooze and is trapped and soon paralyzed by its venom like secretions. Then the shapeshifter envelops the creature, digesting it completely and obtaining the prey's DNA through horizontal gene transfer. It then creates a womb-like cocoon, creating either a clone of the original creature, or its body, and uses this more mobile form to spread itself across the environment. Is this method of reproduction feasible, and what problems would the shapeshifter encounter?

Edit: The shapeshifter would reproduce itself asexually by regurgitating part of itself into a suitable location.

(I know there are simpler ways to accomplish this, but I felt this was an approach towards shapeshifting I haven't seen before)

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    $\begingroup$ Reproduction cycles need to be... a cycle. You are missing the step where the slime-child animal somehow transforms into it's parent's slime form. As it now stands, you have no answer to the question, "where do slime-form sessiles come from?" $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jul 8 '18 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Henry Taylor I edited my question to clarify its reproduction cycle. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Thalassan Jul 8 '18 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not really sure I get what this organism is doing because it sounds as if it wasting A LOT of energy for nothing. It eats an organism, then recreates this very organism via a completely new womb (the most inefficient thing I've ever heard) just to get someplace? Why doesn't it just take over the organism? You state yourself that there are simpler ways of doing this, so you are aware that this is not the smartest approach to the topic. Could you perhaps state what exactly you want to have checked and what is just part of the premise and you are ok with not making sense? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jul 8 '18 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ I know there are simpler ways of accomplishing what it is setting out to do, but I've attempted to create conditions for a biologically plausible "shapeshifter." I wanted to know if its method of reproduction is feasible. @Raditz_35 $\endgroup$ – Thalassan Jul 8 '18 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @FoxElemental I'm not a fan of typing questions out from my phone! $\endgroup$ – Thalassan Jul 8 '18 at 17:00
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Your shapeshifter has no reason to re-create an animal once it has consumed it. It could however change its appearance to appear like an animal to attract it closer into its reach so it can get an easy meal. Imagine it like a Ditto from pokemon... inside the day care...but it eats the other pokemon instead of.. you know...making eggs.

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  • $\begingroup$ So @Shadowzee, you are proposing a more mimic approach, maybe it remembers prey's habits and breeding seasons and then imitates a mating call and catches an easy meal! I like it! $\endgroup$ – Thalassan Jul 9 '18 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Thalassan Yeah, although I wouldn't call it a mimic because that term reminds me of the chest with teeth that attacks people who open it. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Jul 9 '18 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough lol $\endgroup$ – Thalassan Jul 9 '18 at 19:00

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