Algae are the most important life forms on Earth. Still, many can't answer the question, "What is algae?"
First of all, "algae" is plural, so it is better to ask "What are algae?"
The word ďalgaeĒ embraces a huge variety of life forms, and scientists donít always agree on which organisms are algae, and which ones arenít.
You may think of algae as plants that float in the water, but thatís not exactly correct. Like plants, algae make their own food by photosynthesis. But algae arenít planted in the ground, so they arenít really plants.
Furthermore, some algae donít live in the water, they might live in the soil or in the snow, and some algae have even been found floating in clouds. So you can think of algae as photosynthetic life forms that usually float in the water.
There are huge numbers of algae. Everything from the tiniest photosynthetic bacterium to a giant kelp that grows 200 feet tall are considered algae.
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