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Diatoms

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(3 total)

Sceptroneis caduceus
Sceptroneis caduceus
© 1995 UCMP

Unknown diatom (cingulum)
Unknown diatom (cingulum)
© 1997 UCMP

Actinoptychus heliopelta
Actinoptychus heliopelta
© 1995 UCMP

What are Diatoms? Diatoms are unicellular organisms that build delicate silica shells called frustrules. Diatoms are extremely abundant members of both marine and fresh-water ecosystems, where they are major primary producers, serving as a rich food resource for other animals. They are also economically important, used as filtering agents, in paints, and as abrasives in many cleansers, including toothpaste.

First known fossil occurrence: Cretaceous.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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See Diatoms from the:

Quaternary
Tertiary
Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Carboniferous
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian
Precambrian
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