Science: Ocean Pasturage

The two most important plants on earth are grass and diatoms. About grass the shepherd, farmer and scientist know a great deal. About diatoms and dinoflagellates, which are microscopic sea plants (phytoplankton), until the last 30 or 40 years even the scientist has known little. Last week in The Scientific Monthly Marine Biologist Winfred Emory Allen of University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography surveyed his recent researches on diatoms in the Pacific Ocean.

Diatoms are the grass of the waters—the major source of energy and sustenance for marine life. A few...

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