WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Darkfield light micrograph of marine diatoms. The rectangular diatoms are Odontella sinensis, the round are Coscinodiscus sp.. Diatoms are a group of photosynthetic, single-celled algae containing about 10,000 species. They form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. The characteristic feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned, glass-like cell wall, or frustule. The frustule often has rows of tiny holes, known as striae. Magnification: x74 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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