Coccolithophore shell, SEM

Coccolithophore shell, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Calcareous phytoplankton fossil. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fossil of the skeleton (coccosphere) of the coccolithophore Calcidiscus leptoporus, a small marine algal organism. The coccosphere consists of plates (coccoliths) of calcium carbonate. These skeletons can make up the major component of a limestone rock that was laid down in the Cretaceous period, between 142 and 65 million years ago. Magnification: x5500 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, ball, biological, biology, botanical, botany, calcareous, calcidiscus, calcite crystal, calcite crystals, chalk, circle, circular, coccolith, coccolithophore, coccoliths, coccosphere, coloured, false-color, false-colored, false-colour, false-coloured, fauna, flora, geological, geology, globe, marine, mineralised structure, mineralogy, nature, one, phytoplankton, plankton, planktonic, plant, round, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, single, sphere, spherical, zoological, zoology

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