These are some concept sketches of silicon based life for my picture book project "Who Is Out There?" I tried avoiding the trop of making them all crystalline as suggested on a speculative biology forum I'm a part of. I've numbered each of them so you can identify which one I'm describing.
Setting up the world I'm thinking the planet these guys would live on would be cold, dry, and dotting with lakes of hydrocarbon solvents similar to what's found on titan.
1. I call this organism a spore catcher. It's like a mix of animals and fungi. In it's adult form, it's supporting stalks have root-like tendrils that absorb nutrients from the soil while it's head as an open mouth with three fans to capture free-floating spores of other organisms. The head is mobile to catch spore clouds moving in different directions, which it can detect with a simple ring of eyes. spore catchers reproduce via fission with offspring budding from the supporting stalks and shuffling to nutrient rich locations once free of the parent. multiple juveniles in close proximity can merge into a single adult as a means of mixing genes.
2. This is an arthropodal predator with lungs at the tip of it's tail allowing more efficient respiration and less size constraints. It's primarily feeds on smaller organisms such as juvenile spore catchers.
3. These flower-like organisms have characteristics of fungi and plants. They absorb nutrients from the soil and also release a byproduct that creates an atmosphere other organisms can breath. Though they primarily reproduce asexual through spore release, they can exchange genetic material with individuals in close proximity via rubbing hair-like tuffs at the top of their stalks.
4. This is a swimming organism that inhabits the hydrocarbon solvent lakes. They are able to crawl from one lake to another if the distance isn't too great though this risks exposure to predators.
5. This organism can best be described as a sort of land coral and the closest thing to a crystalline silicon-based organism. Like the flower organisms, they feed on soil nutrients, create an atmospheric byproduct, and reproduce via spore release.
6. This animal is unique in that multiple individuals can attach to each other in a line and exchange nutrients as well as gametes with each other. additional benefits is enabling access to hard-to-reach areas of their main food source (the land corals) and making it more difficult for predators to prey on them (being to heavy and long when linked together).
7. This flying creature is an apex predator of this silicon world. It hunts anything smaller than itself and catches prey by hooking it with it's lower limb and grasping it with it's middle limbs. It can only hunt the linking animals when they are not linked together. It can get through the hard carapaces of the linking animals by dropping them from a great height.
Comments are welcome