Lava Coinstack

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The Lava Coinstack is a unique species of coinstack which lives in hydrothermal vents, performing photosynthesis using the lava glow instead of sunlight. It reached the vents via Rhino Ridge, where it was easy for cells to fall into the vents and form new colonies. It is able to survive such dim conditions thanks to a specialized antenna-like structure of pigments, which help concentrate light. To help it grow in the harsher, dimmer conditions, it has formed a symbiotic relationship with Protohydroia octherma, offering it protection in exchange for some of the food it produces with chemosynthesis. Because of this symbiosis, P. octherma has been spread to Rhino Vents and Flisch Vents. Like its ancestor, the Lava Coinstack has unicellular and multicellular life phases and can break apart when conditions deteriorate. It is slower-growing than its ancestor, as light is generally quite limited, though P. octherma endosymbionts assist it greatly. Like its ancestor, the Lava Coinstack has 2 cell types while in its multicellular phase—photosynthesis and transport. It obtains the silicon it uses to make its silicone cell walls by converting silica into monosilicic acid and extracting pure silicon from it, much like a terran rice plant.