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Radiolaria, SEM

Radiolaria, SEM

C038/2181

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Credit

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

Caption

Radiolaria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the shells of various radiolaria. Radiolaria are single-celled protozoans that are found in marine plankton. They have a silicate skeleton with pores through which pseudopodia (false feet, not seen) of protoplasm project. As the animal floats in ocean currents the pseudopodia trap food particles on which the radiolarian feeds. Their skeletal remains make up a large part of the cover of the ocean floor as silica ooze. Radiolarians can often contain symbiotic algae, especially zooxanthellae, which provide most of the cell's energy. Magnification: x150 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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