This is rather simple: I want a biological electromagnet capable of producing a weak magnetic pulse when electrified.
I recognize what an electromagnet is: a coil, spiral, or helix of conductive material through which an electric current flows, thereby inducing a magnetic field. Yes, I know that any electromagnet worth its salt uses a magnetic core. No, I am not talking about that core.
Moreover, I already have a power source lined up for this electromagnet: an electrocyte similar to that of an electric eel; essentially, it's a biological voltaic pile that works by suddenly pumping sodium and potassium ions out of itself in order to produce an electric pulse, which then is used to briefly power the electromagnet.
On top of that, I know what the structure of this electromagnet will be: a horn-like structure made out of conductive material which grows into a loop; the organism this magnet is attached to is mature when its horn stops growing in loops and grows back around to make contact with itself to complete the "circuit", as it were.
However, I don't know what conductive material to use for this. I need a material that:
- can be metabolized by Earth-based biology and biochemical pathways, or be made out of things that can be
- can carry an electrical charge
- isn't exceptionally toxic, radioactive, reactive, or flammable
- is stable between 0 and 130 degrees Farenheit - i.e. doesn't melt/form weird crystals/etc. inside an organism
Basically, it needs to be part of an organism with Earth-style biology without killing said organism or loosing function.