DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of freshwater centric diatom frustules (skeletons), Stephanodiscus and Melosira spp. These freshwater centric diatoms are found in fresh water streams, ponds and lakes. Diatoms are a type of algae (Chromophyta, Bacillariophyceae). They consist of two valves, made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide), which fit together like the top and bottom of a box. This SEM shows the surface of one valve and the broad girdle connecting it to the other valve. The exterior of the valves are often highly decorative, with pores, spikes or other types of projections. It is an important alga in the fresh water food chain. Magnification: x330 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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