Foraminifera protozoa

Foraminifera are single-celled marine protozoa that construct and inhabit a calcium carbonate shell composed of several chambers. These chambers are usually penetrated by pores through which the cellular content is extruded to catch their prey.1

Foraminifera is Latin for "hole bearers.” It is a member of phylum or class of amoeboid protists characterized by streaming granular ectoplasm for catching food and other uses; and commonly an external shell (called a "test") of diverse forms and materials. Foraminifera can have one or many nuclei and can reproduce asexually or sexually.

The majority of foraminifera live on or within the seafloor sediment while a smaller number float in the water’s various depths and are planktonic. Fewer are known to live in freshwater or brackish conditions, and very few are nonaquatic soil species.2

1. Copyright: Museum of Natural History
2. Copyright: Wikipedia

Scanning electron micrograph of a fossilised planktonic foraminifera, Globorotalia scitula
Image credit: Mary Evans
Natural History Museum
Foraminifera art on copper
Copyright: Cheryl Safren

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