Assortment of fossil diatoms

Assortment of fossil diatoms

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Credit: M.I. WALKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph of assorted species of fossil diatom shells. Here, a range of finely structured silica shell-cases are seen in centric (circular) forms and pennate (non-circular) forms. Diatoms are a distinctive group of single- celled algae. They form much of the plankton in aquatic food chains, yet they are also found in soil and on plant leaves. The characteristic feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned, glass- like cell wall which consists of two halves that fit together. Fossil diatoms preserve well and form diatomaceous earth. These were found at Oamaru in New Zealand. Rheinberg illumination. Magnification x14 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, assorted, botany, diatom, diatoms, fossil, fossil diatoms, fossils, light micrograph, nature, phytoplankton, plankton, plant

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