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Diatoms, SEM

Diatoms, SEM

C038/2170

Rights Managed

52.3 MB (52.0 compressed)

6066 x 3016 pixels

51.3 x 25.7 cm ⏐ 20.2 x 10.1 in (300dpi)

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Diatoms. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of diatoms. Diatoms may be extremely abundant in both freshwater and marine ecosystems; it is estimated that 20% to 25% of all organic carbon fixation on the planet is carried out by diatoms. This is possible because they contain chlorophyll. Diatoms are a major food resource for marine and freshwater microorganisms and animal larvae, and are a major source of atmospheric oxygen. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. Magnification: x200 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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