Diatoms - McMurdo Station, South Antarctica

Diatoms - Under Light Microscope

Diatoms - Under Light Microscope 40x

Diatoms - Lorella Kennedy Diatomea (silica algae)
 
 
 
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Diatoms – Microscopic size, single-celled algae

Diatoms – A component of the ocean plant plankton, diatoms are microscopic size, single-celled algae. The cell wall of these organisms is made of hard silica (noble opal, by the way), and forms a kind of box with a bottom and a lid. During reproduction by division, the new diatom takes with it a part of the “parent” shell and adds a smaller bottom to it. As a result, the next generations of these algae are getting smaller and smaller

However, the process does not last forever. When the minimum size limit is exceeded, the generally unarmored sexual generation (the so-called auxospore) appears in the sea. Which has the ability to grow unhindered – and then the cycle starts all over again …

We owe 25 percent of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere to diatoms that produce it in the process of photosynthesis. They also account for a quarter of the biomass of all seas and oceans.

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