Assortment of fossil diatoms

Assortment of fossil diatoms

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Caption: Light micrograph of assorted species of fossil diatom shells. Here, a range of finely structured silica shell-cases (frustules) are seen in centric (circular) diatoms and pennate (elongate) diatoms. Diatoms are a distinctive group of single-celled algae containing about 10,000 species. They form a large part of the plankton in the marine and freshwater food chains. The characteristic feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned, glass- like cell wall, or frustule, which consists of two halves which fit together. Fossil diatoms preserve well; these were found at Santa Monica in the USA. Magnification: x30 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, usa

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