Diatom frustule and sponge spicule, SEM

Diatom frustule and sponge spicule, SEM


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Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine centric diatom frustule (skeleton) ( Arachnoidiscus ehrenbergii); sponge spicule in the background. This marine centric diatom is found in both brackish and salt water. Diatoms are a type of algae (Chromophyta, Bacillariophyceae). They consist of two valves, made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide), which fit together like the top and bottom of a box. The exterior of the valves are often highly decorative, with pores, spikes or other types of projections. They are important alga in the marine food chain. Magnification: x60 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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