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The microbes reside in the rings around a gas giant, adhering to cosmic dust and feeding on sunlight and carbon minerals. While it seems there should be enough collisions to keep the microbes in circulation, I feel something a little more active will be necessary for an increase in complexity

My current idea would be for the microbes to evolve an electretic exoskeleton made of quartz. It seems that quartz is a good natural material for an electret, and certain bacteria are capable of creating quartz already. There are also electric organisms, including bacteria, which deal with electric charges, and that could adapt into organelles for creating electrets. Furthermore, there should be a lot of silicon/oxygen availible in the dust and rocks, which will provide resources for the electret

This electretic exoskeleton would attract dust to the meteoroids that these microbes reside on, thus increasing their resources and allowing for further complexity, or for survival in more resource-poor regions

Could this adaptation work as I've described within realistic biology and physics, or is there something I've overlooked here?

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    $\begingroup$ Is electretic a typo or some unexplained property? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 7 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch By 'electretic' I mean 'working as an electret', like how 'magnetic' means 'working as a magnet' $\endgroup$ Nov 7 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing how is that different from magnetic? $\endgroup$
    – Rafael
    Nov 7 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch: An electret is a material with an (almost) permanent electric polarization; it is the electric correspondent of a permanent magnet. Electrets are widely used, for example, for (some kinds of) microphones or for some kinds of transducers. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 7 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like you've done all the worldbuilding and are just checking if you did a good job? Looks great. Go forth and have fun. As for "could my fictional creature exist [work] within realistic biology?" The answer is 99.99% always no, because it doesn't exist in biology. Frankly, I think you've done a good job of using Real World creatures to rationalize your fictional creature. Well done. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 7 at 19:12

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