STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Biddulphia diatom. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine centric diatom frustule (Biddulphia sp.). It typically forms a light brown scum on seaweeds or rocks in the ocean. It also can form a scum on aquarium walls. 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: X1000 when printed at 10cm wide.
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