Stromatolite crystals, SEM

Stromatolite crystals, SEM

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Caption: Stromatolite crystals, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Stromatolites are mineralised microbial communities, formed from cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae). They are formed over thousands of years as the cyanobacteria trap detritus and sediment, forming large living rafts known as microbial mats. The cyanobacteria also secrete calcium carbonate, which causes the mats to mineralise and form the crystals seen here. This sample was taken from a salt lake. Magnification: x1300 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, biological, biology, blue-green, blue-green algae, botany, calcium carbonate, colonial, colonies, colony, coloured, crystal, crystalline, crystallised, cyanobacteria, false-coloured, fossilised, fossils, geological, geology, living fossil, microbial mat, microbiological, microbiology, mineralised, mineralogy, nature, plant, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, stromatolite

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