Diatom alga, Coscinodiscus

Diatom alga, Coscinodiscus

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Caption: Light micrograph of the diatom Coscinodiscus sp. from Cape Town, South Africa. Diatoms are single- celled microscopic algae. A feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned, glass-like cell wall or frustule. This frustule is made of silica and pectin. The wall is always in two halves which fit together like two parts of a pill box. One slightly larger half acts as the lid to the box. Only one half can be seen here from above. This circular(centric) diatom is perfectly symmetrical; another major group of diatoms are elongate. Found in both marine and fresh water environments, and in the soil, diatoms are of great importance to food chains. Magnification: x480 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, botany, cape town, centric, coscinodiscus, coscinodiscus sp., diatom, diatoms, light micrograph, nature, phytoplankton, plankton, plant, shape, type

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