Diatoms

Where in NZ Widespread in sedimentary rocks
When Cenozoic (65 million years ago to present)
Scale Usually microscopic to 2 mm in length

What are they?

  • A modern diatom

    A modern diatom

    Microscopic single-celled form of alga with a siliceous shell
  • Found in soils, fresh and salt water
  • Are primary producers at the bottom of the food chain

Used for?

  • One of the common microfossil groups used in paleoecology to reconstruct ancient environments

See some examples in our image gallery.