STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coscinodiscus diatom. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Coscinodiscus diatom (red). This is a marine diatom. Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic algae, of which there are about 100,000 species. They have mineralised cell walls (frustules) that contain silica and provide protection and support. The diatoms form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. Magnification: x600 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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