Story: Plankton

Marine diatoms

Marine diatoms

Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic organisms. Their cell walls are composed of two interlocking silica halves. These sink to the ocean floor when diatoms die, becoming part of the sediment. As they stay preserved for millions of years, fossil diatoms are a valuable record of past oceanic environments.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Healey Collection

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Plankton - Plant plankton', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006