Coccolithophore shell, SEM

Coccolithophore shell, SEM

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Credit: AMI IMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coccolithophore shell. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the external mineralised shell (coccosphere) of a small marine alga called a coccolithophore. The coccosphere is made up of coccoliths, which are individual plates of calcite crystals. Coccolithophores are present in huge numbers in the oceans. Their mineralised shells form the great bulk of chalk rocks worldwide, such as those found in southern England.

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