Diatoms (Algae with a Silicon Skeleton)


Diatoms are small algae, which have a simple SiO2-based skeleton. The amorphous substance can take on a wide variety of different forms (click on a photo to see an enlargement).

The low strength and low flexibility of these skeletons makes them suitable only for small organisms. The diatoms shown here are between 0.2 and 0.5 mm in diameter.

A network of amorphous SiO2

The fascinating varity of the diatoms

Used with permission of Martin Mach, München © www.diatomeen.de