So I've been working on a low magic world where magic is actually just another form of energy that can be actualized, similar to alchemy in Full Metal Alchemist. Although development has taken a different course in this world, it resembles a late middle age to pre-industrial age period in time.
This world is slightly more dangerous than ours, with monsters running around here and there which may become a great pay day for an adventurer commissioned to clear it out, or a threat that jeopardizes an entire town despite them rolling out the entirety of their guards to stop it.
Among the various races and creatures that are in this world, I have one that still needs help figuring out. I would like to have slimes included as part of my fantasy world. I want slimes to work on a principle of acid digestion, in which stepping on one or having one latch onto your foot may compromise your leg, the bone in it, or even your life. They get to have the nickname "Farmers Bane" and are known as a threat to unsuspecting people who step on them.
So far I've envisioned my slimes as a type of extremely large protozoa, either single celled or a colony. When stepped on they encapsulate the foot and release a strong acid which greatly impacts the creature that has stepped on it. In particular, it's best if they can cause bone failure which has a potential for incapacitating their prey. Then, small deposited forms of the slime grow using the prey as nutrients once the flesh in the area is dead, or devouring the entire creature to form new cells if possible.
My question is simply this: Can a creature exist that can use hydrofluoric acid without destroying itself, and what kind of structures would it have?
I thought maybe a silicone based organism would work, but I don't know enough about chemistry to understand how hydrofluoric acid can or cannot react with something, and whether or not that something could be a living being.
I have other less important questions that I would love answered if the above is possible:
Is it possible to have a single cell organism that functions in this way, or does it need to be multicellular? (Or symbiotic with another organism)
Does chloroplast react to hydrofluoric acid?
If flesh is broken down by hydrofluoric acid can it still be used as nutrients?
Or if the above is impossible:
- What are possible substitutes for hydrofluoric acid that I can look in to?