Diatom Colony

August 29, 2014

Diatom colony_licmophora flabellata 080414 46 comp (3) 12in 3

August 2014 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: John Stetson
Summary AuthorJohn Stetson

As this little colony of diatoms illustrates, even the simplest of life forms at the bottom of the food chain can organize in beautiful ways. These aquatic, photosynthetic plants are about the width of a human hair in diameter -- approximately 100 microns. Diatoms are important in oxygen production, in producing carbon sinks and are also a crucial food source for krill. They first appeared in the fossil record some 144 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period. Photo taken in South Portland, Maine on August 4, 2014.