As requested in this thread, here is an ocean-world bound species that I think is different from others in the game.
Reclusive, philosophical algae structures
Prefers Ocean planets
Good researchers 150%
Good supply 150%
Poor growth -50%
No ground troops
Cannot produce ships
Cannot colonize planets
The Orondo-Mar are vast colonies of sentient algae permeating the rocks in and around deep-sea thermal vents. A colony consists of spherical pods approximately 5mm in diameter, which process nutrients and perform biological functions, connected by tough tubular strands that transport material between pods. Information is also transferred this way, approximating a collection of brain cells. Pod colonies themselves are linked by long, wide tubes protected by walls of baked clay. Dependent on the chemical nutrients and heat welling up from their planet's core, the Orondo-Mar could not easily be transported even if they were not vehemently opposed to the idea of a colony being severed from the others.
It cannot be determined unambiguously whether the Orondo-Mar are a single entity, or a collection of individuals. While the collective organism has shared memories and can act as one, colonies at different thermal vents can express themselves with different personalities. They are generally reclusive, with a stoic outlook on life. They do, however, take pride in being consulted on important questions and enjoy the mental stimulation of a tricky research problem. Orondo-Mar also have an aptitude for interstellar logistics, no doubt because a network of interconnected planetary systems mirrors their own biology.
Species suggestions, story ideas and contributions.
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From their description I think they might be a better fit for lithic metabolism, being hydrothermal vent creatures permeating the surrounding rocks. I was also working on a concept for a very similar species, so it' interesting to see someone beat me to the punch.
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