Charcuteralgae

From 2speccers2tools wiki

Joining the Dire Toms in their “prestigious” title of “prolific silicate-using algal genus group” come a similarly cosmopolitan clade of cheeses - the Charcuteralgae. Distinctive from the Purple Cheese populations of which this genus arose from, one of these microbes’ apical silicate spike clusters has expanded into helmet-like test, providing a greater defense against similarly-sized predators. Shared from their ancestry however are their unique purple photosynthetic pigments, allowing them to settle comfortably among a unique selection of wavelengths.

Charcuteralgae are impressively diverse, numbering in hundreds of species. While individual species are usually hard to discern from one another, subgeneral groups can be noted by the shape of the silicate test units they construct - some tests are bossed with studs, others lock into each other like a mail, and others are serrated with blades pointing towards the apex, just to name a few examples. Charcuteralgae thrive in a variety of conditions - freshwater species possess smaller vacuoles, polar species tend to have dark-indigo pigments to generate extra heat, while desert-dwelling species can retreat into their tests and perform cryptobiosis until conditions become more favorable; even in oxygen-deprived conditions can you expect to find a couple of species.

Of course, as Charcuteralgae require silicates to build their tests, the greatest diversity of species occur where silicate availability is at its greatest, especially in the coastlines and waterways of Cube and Oofle, in which these compounds are regularly deposited from.