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Fossilised diatoms, SEM

Fossilised diatoms, SEM

E440/0146

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fossil diatoms. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of fossilised diatoms, single- celled planktonic algae. The diatoms create a shell (frustule) of silica around themselves for protection and support, which is readily fossilised. Rock formed from diatom shells is called diatomite, or diatomaceous earth. It is used industrially as a filter for purifying liquids. Magnification unknown.

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