Sooty Smoolk

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Sooty Smoolk
(Macrotoxica fuliginosa)
Creator Coolsteph Other
Macrotoxica fuliginosa
Epoch/Generation 3/154
Habitat Mason Barren Wasteland
Size 0.5 cm long (5 mm)
Support Unknown
Diet Lithovore (iron; specializes in minerals containing manganese), Detritivore, Photosynthesis
Respiration Unknown
Thermoregulation Unknown
Reproduction Aesexual, Resilient Airborne Spores, Fragmentation
Descendant of Ancestor of
Red Smoolk

The sooty smoolk is a hardy species of smoolk often found in banded iron formations. There, it feeds on either the iron oxides or ankerite. Though ankerite has less iron than iron oxides, ankerite also contains manganese, which a sooty smoolk can use to produce enzymes to detoxify superoxide free radicals created by photosynthesis. (In simple terms: It makes molecules to disable poisons that naturally occur when it makes energy from photosynthesis.)

Despite being able to neutralize poisons, it has a short lifespan compared to other smoolks. It grows fast and dies young. (by smoolk standards) It's unclear why its lifespan is shorter. There are two hypotheses on this. The first is that the manganese enzymes allow it to double its metabolism without immediately suffering ill effects. However, when it inevitably runs out of accessible manganese, it goes kaput. The second hypothesis is that it is smaller than other smoolks, and small organisms generally have shorter lifespans than larger organisms.

Sooty smoolks have a high reproduction rate. Sooty smoolks' spores are emitted in loose, cobweb-like nets. Due to the weak wind of the dwindling atmosphere, the cobwebs very rarely float more than two centimeters off the ground. When the weak wind pushes along pebbles, the sticky spores detach from the fallen cobweb and cling to the pebble. Eventually they fall from the pebble, or the pebble stays in one spot for a while. After that, the spore germinates.

Sooty smoolk Close-up

Sooty smoolks can withstand temperatures ranging from 22 to 34 degrees Celsius. (72 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit) They typically live at 30th to 43rd latitude, though global temperature fluctuations can expand or limit their ranges over time. This range includes the temperate and subtropical regions of Mason, as defined by latitude and not climate, and is equivalent to the distance between Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario.

Possibly on account of their manganese usage, sooty smoolks are more resistant to manganese poisons than other smoolks. Their carbon layer also makes them resistant to hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid.