Protophytes are newborn Neophytes.
Protophytes are the organisms to first ooze from the gestation pods. As such, they have an embryonic appearance. Young Protophytes are born albino, slowly obtaining their bluish black color through age. This albino color is complemented by the embryonic sheen brought on by their gelatinous coating. Within hours, Protophytes lose both their coloring and coating, and slowly begin to increase in size and drastically change in color until becoming Neophytes.
Protophytes are roughly 5 feet in height before growing into Neophytes. Ironically, the albino color scheme of the Protophytes returns once the creature becomes a Neomorph. Unlike the Neophytes, they have no tails, instead having a large stinger used for tearing themselves from their birthing pod. This stinger quickly melts back into the creature, and is replaced with the tail seen on mature Neophytes.
No neotenic Protophyes have been discovered.
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