DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine, filamentous, centric diatom (Chaetoceros sp.). Some diatoms form chains of cells to become a filamentous colony. The filamentous diatom genus Chaetoceros is composed of individual cells that are centric or oval in shape with paired spike-like projections at each end. Chaetoceros is one of the largest genera of marine planktonic diatoms with approximately 400 species. They occur in huge numbers in plankton and play an important role in marine and fresh water food chains. Diatoms are microscopic, unicellular algae that are abundant in marine and fresh water. The body or frustule is composed of two halves which fit tightly together. The cells walls contain silica dioxide (glass) which are preserved in deposits known as diatomaceous earth. Magnification: x440 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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