diatom

paragoon17  asked:

Oxygen is a chemical element with symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table and is a highly reactive nonmetal and oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as other compounds.[4] By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium.[5] At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O2. Th

A most abundant element.

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From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

Most plankton are tiny drifters, wandering in a vast ocean. But where wind and currents converge they become part of a grander story… an explosion of vitality that affects all life on Earth, including our own. Watch the latest “Deep Look” video from KQED and pbsdigitalstudios:

http://youtu.be/jUvJ5ANH86I

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Microscopic algae

First and second photo are of barrel-shaped diatoms. Diatoms aren’t the typical green color of algae. Instead, they have brown or yellow chloroplasts. They excrete a mucus-like slime and when in large colonies are sometimes referred to as “rock-snot”. They can also cloud up the walls of fish tanks, leading people to believe they are bacteria due to the brown color of the colonies. 

Third photo is Micrasterias, which is a lucky find since they seem to be quite rare where I live

Last photo is a Cladophora filament, which is the algae that makes up those adorable marimo moss balls. A few protists have made it their home.

Bacillaria paxillifer, AKA the carpenter’s rule diatom. 

This diatom is unique in that it can slide and retract relatively quickly using a mucilage layer. They’re fun to watch!

Exactly why they do this is so far unknown. My hypothesis is that they do this to dislodge clumps of sediment or organic detritus that have fallen on top of them. Since diatoms are photosynthetic, it would make sense to try and get rid of of stuff that blocks out the light. 

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oo28oo requested some eukaryotic algae pictures, so I figured I’d post some of my favorite ones I’ve found over the years! The individual names of the algae will pop up if you click on the photos 

As I mentioned before, many of these algae came from slimy and disgusting clumps of pond scum. They usually smelled pretty horrible, too! It’s only when you look at them under the microscope that you see the true beauty.

Edit: shout out to Pepperofthenickel for identifying the Scenedesmus in the bottom left as Scenedesmus dimorphus!