Encore - Diatom Colony

June 27, 2020

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

August 2014 Viewer's ChoiceToday and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: 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.