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Dictyota dichotoma

Dictyota dichotoma


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Dictyota dichotoma

Cyanotype photograph by Anna Atkins, one of the first natural history photographers. From British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, 1853. Date: 1853

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Media ID 14238392

© Mary Evans / Natural History Museum

1853 Alga Algae Algal Brown Alga Brown Algae Chromalveolata Chromista Eukaryote Eukaryotic Heterokontophyta Phaeophyceae Protist Protista Anna Atkins Cyanotype


EDITORS COMMENTS
This image showcases Dictyota dichotoma, a brown alga from the class Dictyotales and family Dictyotaceae, as captured in the groundbreaking work of Anna Atkins' "British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions," published in 1853. Atkins, a British botanist and one of the earliest natural history photographers, utilized the cyanotype process to create this stunning representation of the alga. Cyanotypes are a type of photograph made by placing objects directly onto light-sensitive paper, exposing it to sunlight, and then washing it to reveal the distinct blue coloration. The alga depicted in this photograph, Dictyota dichotoma, is a member of the phylum Phaeophyceae, also known as brown algae. This eukaryotic organism, belonging to the kingdom Protista, is a part of the Chromista group, which includes heterokontophytes. The intricate branching structure of Dictyota dichotoma is evident in this image, with its dichotomously branching thallus, or vegetative body, creating a complex network of filaments. This photograph holds significant historical importance as it represents an early example of the application of photography in the field of natural history. Anna Atkins' work paved the way for the use of photographic techniques in scientific documentation, making it an essential contribution to the advancement of botanical and marine research during the Victorian era.

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