DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine centric diatom frustule (Triceratium dubium). This images is a close-up view of the delicate silica skeleton of a centric diatom. This species was found in the Pacific Ocean near the sea shore (Oahu, Hawaii). Diatoms are microscopic, unicellular algae that are abundant in marine and fresh water. There are many phytoplankton diatom genera that are an important part of the food chain. The body or frustule is composed of two halves which fit tightly together. The cell walls contain silica dioxide (glass) which are preserved in deposits known as diatomaceous earth. Magnification: x2,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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