Diatom Frustules Diatoms have a silicified cell wall forms a pillbox-like shell (frustule) composed of overlapping halves that contain intricate and delicate markings useful in testing the resolving power of microscope lenses. The beautiful symmetry and exquisite design of diatom frustules have gained them the title "jewel of the sea."
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Diatoms. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of diatoms (Campylodiscus sp.). These microscopic, single-celled algae possess rigid and finely-sculpted cell walls known as frustules. Each frustule is composed of two halves, or valves, which fit neatly together. Diatoms are photosynthetic and aquatic, being found in both marine and freshwater habitats. Magnification: x310 at 6x7cm size.