STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diatom. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Campylodiscus sp. diatom (yellow), surrounded by other types of diatoms (blue). Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic algae, of which there are about 100,000 species. They have mineralised cell walls (frustules) that contain silica and provide protection and support. The diatoms form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. Magnification: x1000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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