Naturally-evolved space-dwelling lifeforms

Image from Steve Bowers
A Conchsquid in the rings of Ystrad, a jovian planet orbiting YTS-209101-01001-2

An apparently naturally evolved species of space-dwelling lifeform, confined to a single gas giant's ring system orbiting YTS-209101-01001-2 in Sagittarius, 4906 ly from Sol. Discovered in 6598 AT.

The conchsquid's metabolism is magnetotrophic, deriving energy from the passage of the rings through the magnetic flux-lines of this planet. The outer skin of this animal is an impermeable membrane which contains and compresses the gases and liquids involved in its metabolism. Much of the conchsquid's biochemistry occurs in the gas phase.

This creature consumes the ice and gravel of the rings and also feeds on, and contributes to, a thinly spread biosphere of chemotrophs, magnetotrophs and detritivores which inhabits the fluffy snow of the ring particles.

This biosphere appears to have developed from earlier biota which evolved inside a Europan-type moon. This moon was destroyed when it began to orbit too close to the planet and was tidally disrupted. Some simple lifeforms from this biosphere survived and developed into space-dwelling magnetovores.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 26 March 2013.