Sting Cells

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Sting Cells
(Pungifili spp.)
Artwork of Sting Cells
Species is extant.
Creator Mnidjm Other
Pungifili spp.
Week/Generation 26/162
Habitat Global (Sagan 4)
Size 0.5 - 1 μm string width
Primary Mobility Unknown
Support Unknown
Diet Cytovore
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Ectotherm
Reproduction Fission
Descendant of Ancestor of

Hailing from an ancient lineage, the sting cells are one of the most unique forms of life native to the planet. They are the smallest form of life known to have arisen on Sagan 4, adapting to existence as a cellular endopredator. As an endopredator that hunts by inserting part of itself inside its prey and absorbing from the inside out, they have greatly simplified their cellular structures, allowing them to exist at a size small enough to fit into their prey. They are generally at a width of roughly 0.5 - 1 μm, small enough to force their string through the cellular pores, though their length can be drastically variable depending on how recently they have fed. They use chemoreceptors to search out potential prey cells, searching for ones large enough for them to force their strings through pores in the cellular membranes. Once they have successfully captured their prey, they will force the majority of the length of their string through the cellular pores, destroy the central nucleus, hijack the cell to make all the necessary macromolecules it needs for survival and produce more copies of their genome, before draining the preys and repeating the process.

Not having to rely on internal mechanisms to generate a sophisticated internal makeup allow them the latitude to simplify their genetic structure. They have no centralized nucleus; instead they have clusters of redundant copies of their genomes that are contained in a nucleotide region spanning the entire length of the cells. This simplified composition has come at the cost of most of the sting cells complex organelles, as they have now grown dependent on their prey’s cellular mechanisms to manufacture most macromolecules. Reproduction is done through fission, where then end of their cells will begin to fray at the ends, eventually splitting into independent cells. They are extremely diverse, with each species being prey-specific. They are found in all potential aquatic environments, from deep sea vents, to polar coasts, to rainforest puddles, to desert oases.

Integrated Species