|A Virtual Pond Dip||
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Name (phylum): Diatoms
Size : wide range amongst species
Where to find them : Planktonic, or attached to plants; often form brown crusts on surfaces under water e.g. stones, plant stems.
Notes : Diatoms have silica shells in two halves that fit together like an old pill-box. The shell (the frustule) often has very fine structure (which is best seen in commercially prepared slides of diatoms). The optical microscope is pushed to the limit to resolve the detail in some species.
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Published in Micscape Magazine February 2001.
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All images © Wim van Egmond