WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Darkfield light micrograph of Pleurosigma balticum marine diatoms. These boat-shaped pennate diatoms are motile and secrete mucilage. They have a slit-like 'raphe' that runs along the cell wall that is used in locomotion. They can be so abundant that they form visible brown layers in the fine sand or mud of estuaries and mudflats. As primary producers they are an important part of the marine ecosystem. Mucilage diatoms can form a biofilm that binds sand together and can effect the formation of the landscape. Magnification: x74 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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