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An aquatic creature made of a yellow goo moves through the water by moving its body like a squid. The goo can slowly dissolve small creatures and the planet's form of seaweed/kelp. It also has an adaptive protective layer around the goo that can strengthen areas that need extra protection. The goo is highly nutritious to nearly all forms of aquatic life. The only way to bypass the protection is to come at the creature at high speed and breach the protection, not allowing it time to strengthen.

How would an aquatic creature co-evolve to feast on the goo?

*The goo would have to be extracted from the creature before it is eaten, otherwise the creature could dissolve the predator's digestion system.

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  • $\begingroup$ What prevents the goo from having all-around protection, all the time? Whatever creature is presented will probably exploit that. Also, how does the goo stop things it is dissolving from eating it? $\endgroup$ – Erik Jun 8 '15 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ 1. Plot convenience. 2. Overwhelming the creature's digestive system and eating it. $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ How does the goo know which bits to strengthen when? Does this goo have eyes? By the time its been touched its too late to strengthen its self by the sounds of it $\endgroup$ – Wil Selwood Jun 8 '15 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ 1. Plot conveni-the only thing it can do is sense heat, the way its brain works is this: "Is this heat thing coming towards me? If so, squirm away. If it isn't, chase it." 2. The protection is a sort of last minute resort, unless something hits it quickly the protection will thicken and that's it. $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 15:54
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The situation is somewhat similar to what anteaters and pangolins do. So using a similar solution should work well enough.

Give a fish a long muscular tongue with a hardened tip and some sort of short bristles along the length. The fish would then plunge the tongue into the goo at high velocity. The tip would allow the tongue to penetrate and parts of the goo would be stuck on the tongue when it is retracted.

The fish should also have enough armor that the goo is relatively harmless. Pangolins do this with scales, anteaters with fur. For a fish worried about digestive enzymes, strong scales with protective slime should be good enough. This should allow the fish to have decent life expectancy even when feeding as long as it allows getting trapped inside the goo. And the long tongue should give enough range for that.

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  • $\begingroup$ New accepted answer. Honestly I like this one a lot more, ticks my checklist in new ways. $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 17:06
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A snake like creature sounds like the perfect predator for this thing:

  • Cold blooded: which would make it very hard to it to sense and harden its self.1
  • Rapid strike: even if it did spot it the goo creature wouldn't have time to harden or avoid it.
  • Fangs to deliver some thing to either neutralise the digestive property so it can be eaten safely or to suck out the goo.
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  • $\begingroup$ That works. That works really well. $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 16:14
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I would say that the most likely path would be either a symbiotic relationship with the goo, so that the protection reacts to some chemical in the symbiotic animal, or, it has evolved along with it and has been staying one step ahead, in order to continue getting it's nourishment from such a quality source.

On top of that, the symbiote and the predator my be part of the relationship, the goo, might benefit from the symbiote by discouraging the predator, maybe making them taste bad or something.

edit: Another Idea, if the 'goo' is so corrosive, maybe a fish has evolved that it 'needs' or uses the corrosivness the goo to digest it's own food. it's mouth and 'esophagus' can handle the short contact, and the stomach needs it to process food, nullifying the affect on the stomach linings.

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  • $\begingroup$ But how does the symbiote feast on the goo? $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Swallow it like jello? have mouth will eat. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Jun 8 '15 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ But how does the symbiote get the goo away from the creature to eat it? $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ You said the creature WAS goo, and had some protective goo around it. I said, the protective goo doesn't affect the symbiote. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Jun 8 '15 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ Directly eating a chunk of goo off of the creature will end up in a dissolved digestion system. You need to break off a chunk. $\endgroup$ – Dittoslash Jun 8 '15 at 16:10

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