My offering to the Anatomically Correct Series.
I came across a curious creature, the Hatch!
The Hatch is an adaptable creature whose wide-ranging diet allows it to integrate easily into most ecosystems. The Hatch has no eyes and is completely blind, although a photosensitive patch atop its head is capable of detecting even minor changes in overhead light, making it prefer dark caves and tunnels.
The Hatch's life cycle:
Hatch Egg > Hatchling > Adult Hatch
It's variants, based on its diet:
- Sage Hatch (wider range of organic food)
- Stone Hatch (wider range of minerals)
- Smooth Hatch (mostly metals)
The main issues are some of its features:
- It can sustain itself on a strictly mineral diet, though it can eat organic food too
- It poops out coal!
- A single creature, depending on its diet, lays different eggs, which hatches its variants. The variants can lay eggs, which hatches the "normal" Hatch.
- The last one, the Smooth Hatch, eat raw metal ores and poops out refined metal
These features are also the question. Can a biochemistry enabling this creature exist? Can the variants exist and "born" from a single creature? Like with all other AC question, some leeway is allowed if it enables the creatures existence.
(This can be skipped, if can't be answered)
- Could the Hatch evolve naturally?
- Could the Smooth Hatch exist? (Supposedly it can refine iron, copper, gold and even tungsten - so to me this feels the most unnatural)