RESOURCES: Diatom Delight

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1227
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5533.1227c

With their delicate, ornate cell walls made of silicon dioxide, the aquatic protists called diatoms rival the work of the world's best jewelers. These beautiful glassy boxes, the occupant's home for life, are also the basis for diatom taxonomy. At this site, diatom devotees can sift through a trove of taxonomic databases and other resources assembled by the California Academy of Sciences, whose glass menagerie includes more than 59,000 samples. To help specialists identify specimens, an illustrated key covers more than 70 genera of diatoms. There's also a diatom glossary, a database of genus names, and a roster of the 472 type specimens in the academy's collection. You can also read a primer on diatom biology or catch up on the latest news articles on diatoms.

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