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51.3 MB (2.9 MB compressed)
5091 x 3520 pixels
43.2 x 29.7 cm ⏐ 17.0 x 11.7 in (300dpi)
JOHN CLEGG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN CLEGG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Marine diatoms. Light micrograph of an array of marine diatoms, part of the algae family. Diatoms are microscopic unicellular organisms that occur abundantly in marine and freshwater plankton. They form the basis of the food chain. The body is composed of two halves, which fit together like a tiny pill box. The cell walls contain silica, which is preserved in deposits known as siliceous or diatomaceous earths (ooze). Once hardened into rock it is called diatomite. The high porosity of this rock enables it to be used for filters, fillers and as a mild abrasive.
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