Suctorian protozoa and fragilaria diatoms. Darkfield illuminated polarised light micrograph of two suctorian protozoa (funnel-shaped) settled on Fragilaria sp. diatoms (long, green). Suctoria obtain food through specialised suctorial tentacles that allow them to fasten themselves to their prey. Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic algae, of which there are about 100,000 species. They have mineralised cell walls (frustules) that contain silica and provide protection and support. They form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. Magnification: x200 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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