A Virtual Pond Dip

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Diatoms (single-celled)


diatoms.gif (1850 bytes)


Further details:
'Those who live in glass houses'

Name (phylum): Diatoms

Size : wide range amongst species
ca 5 - 500 µm

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.

Classification :
Kingdom -
Protoctista, Phylum - Diatoms (Bacillariophyta)

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Published in Micscape Magazine February 2001.

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