STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coccolithophore. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Syracosphaera. This small algal organism is a calcareous phytoplankton and is surrounded by a skeleton (coccosphere) of calcium carbonate plates (coccoliths). When the organism dies, the plates separate and sink to the ocean floor. Individual plates have been found in vast numbers and can make up the major component of a particular rock, such as the chalk of England. Syracosphaera is found in marine environments world wide. Magnification: x1500 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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