DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a convict cichlid fish (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum) skin cell on scale surface. Fish skin like many other vertebrates consists of two principal layers - superficial epidermis and deeper dermis. The epidermis consists of two or more layers. The deepest is a series of closely packed, discrete cells called the germinal layer, or stratum germinativum. The outer epidermal cells are formed from the germinal layer. Body fish slimes are produced by epidermal cells and their degradation. Epidermal cells can have highly convoluted surfaces that retain slime that has a primary function of protection from pathogens and parasites. Magnification: x5,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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