In this section of Ocean Life - Plankton, we discuss diatoms.
What are diatoms?
Diatoms are single celled phytoplankton or plants plankton. Diatoms plankton are important source of food for ocean plants and ocean life.
What size are diatoms?
Diatoms range in size from lµm - 1mm (1/1000 - 1/25 inch).
Diatoms have glass like skeletons made of silica, which consist of two interlocking parts.
How do diatoms reproduce?
Diatoms reproduce by fission. Diatom fission is when each diatom cell divides into two. The two parts of the diatom skeleton separate and inside each part of the diatom a new inner diatom part is formed. The average size of the diatoms cells gets smaller and smaller, until diatoms sexual reproduction occurs. This diatom sexual reproduction creates full sized diatoms cells.