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SHEDDING

Shedding is a well-documented process in the animal kingdoms of all worlds supporting reptilian lifeforms or possess hard exoskeletons. When the organism inside has outgrown its current housing, it will break free of its current accommodations and live within (or acquire) a new one. Anomaly, for all its deviations from the norm, is refreshingly predictable in this regard.

Where Anomaly delivers another one of its brilliant evolutionary unlikelihoods is the surprising number of mammals that shed their skins.

There are clearly reptilian-mammalian phenotypes to be observed here, but a warm-blooded lifeform retaining the shedding characteristics of a reptile is still a lot for a classically trained scientist to accept. The appearance of such “skinnings” can be startling, typically found in single, “whole body” form. I’d describe it as a slaughterhouse moment without the blood…though sometimes traces of blood can be seen where the skin may have been prematurely pulled from the fresh layer beneath it.

The question to be asked remains: Why would mammals, which are constantly losing and replacing elastic skin cells, shed?

The only skeptical answer I can marshal is the ridiculously dry heat in these parts. It’s as if the sun constantly beating down on these lifeforms may have evolved the elasticity out of the creature’s skin, thus forcing it to shed as it continues to grow. Alternately, the level of molecular damage Anomaly’s sun can wreak on exposed cells could be triggering a “molt” of sorts to avoid their potential replication of damaged DNA (ie- cancerous cells). Whatever the case, I’ve many samples of these sheddings in case we should ever see the glorious interior of a Conglomerate laboratory before the end of our days.

With apologies to the reader, we’ve seen examples where the molt failed to take place as it should have… The affected creature literally boiled in its own sweat inside of a sack made of their own, non-molting skin.



CRITICAL ACCLAIM