Fossil diatom, light micrograph

Fossil diatom, light micrograph

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Caption: Fossil diatom. Darkfield illuminated light micrograph of a fossilised diatom. Diatoms are a group of photosynthetic, single-celled algae containing about 10,000 species. They form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. The characteristic feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned glass-like cell wall, or frustule. The frustule often has rows of tiny holes, known as striae. Magnification: x229 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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