Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments

2009 Edition
| Editors: Vivien Gornitz

Foraminifera

  • Harry J. Dowsett
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4411-3_88
Foraminifera are single-celled eukaryotic organisms that live in both the marine and fresh water environment. They range in size from 100 μm–15 cm in length. Foraminifera (often referred to as forams) are classified primarily by the composition and morphology of their tests (shells). Tests can be made of organic compounds, sand grains, and other particles cemented together (agglutinated), or secreted calcium carbonate (CaCO 3). Many groups are commonly made of a number of chambers, added during growth (Figure F2). The arrangement of these chambers and the position and shape of apertures are important for taxonomic classification.
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© Springer-Verlag 2009

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  • Harry J. Dowsett

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