Siliconium karotokapsikus

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S. karatokapsikus is more complex than its ancestor. It has doubled in size and developed specialized organelles which process silicon and create silicon compounds and structures. Most notable is the silicone-based resin which forms a protective covering over its cell membrane. This provides a resistant coating to discourage consumption by other cells, while still allowing for flexibility of the cell. This resistance also holds for ingestion by microorganisms, but only so long as they haven’t developed a way to break down the silicone compounds. Populations of these cells have also begun moving into coastal waters where competition is low and silicon content is high. The major factor restricting their expanse into new regions is the requirement for methane used in the resin. Currently they obtain this methane from decaying organic material in the detritus, but growth and reproduction only persist when methane is present in the area. When methane supplies run low the cells will transition into a cyst form and lay dormant until conditions improve. These regions are coasts on the polar sections of the continents. At the moment there are small colonial crusts of orange cells coating sand patches in the polar waters, but their presence may hold the start to a biological silicon cycle.