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Starspore

Common NameEdit

Starspore

Scientific NameEdit

Stellaspora ranacorona

DescriptionEdit

This organism is another excellent example of convergent evolution in desert species - the low, squat form, the tissue shielded by a pale layer of wax, the bulk of biomass close to the ground to minimize sun damage and water loss. What is different about this photobiont is the rows of branchia - on cacti, we'd see rows of spines. The branchia are probably the equivalent of leaves - highly pigmented organs that photosynthesize but also lose water at a faster rate than the stem. --Jane Van Susteren, Exobiology Lead

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