, Volume 51, Issue 1–4, pp 541–553 | Cite as

A three- and two-dimensional documentation of structural elements in schwagerinids (superfamily Fusulinoidea) exemplified by silicified material from the Upper Carboniferous of the Carnic Alps (Austria/Italy): a comparison with verbeekinoideans and alveolinids

  • Ursula Leppig
  • Holger C Forke
  • Michael Montenari
  • Beate Fohrer
Original Paper


Silicified schwagerinids (superfamily Fusulinoidea v. Moeller 1878) from the Upper Carboniferous (Carnic Alps, Austria and Italy) were isolated from cemented carbonate rocks using hydrochloric acid. The shells show details of the wall texture and of internal structures in three dimensions which are illustrated with SEM pictures. Thin sections from hand specimens provided two-dimensional sections of the shell for comparison. The functional significance of fusulinoidean internal structures is discussed and compared with verbeekinoideans and alveolinids. Particular attention is paid on the disposition of the different openings within the shell and from the chamber lumen to the outside which reflects the direction of protoplasmic flow. Based on the knowledge of the nature of protoplasm ultrastructure in Recent foraminifera and its biological significance we draw some conclusions about the nature of protoplasm in fusulinoideans and its change within the Permian verbeekinoideans.


Larger foraminifera Fusulinoidea Verbeekinoidea Alveolinidae Structural elements Functional morphology Carnic Alps Upper Carboniferous  



Reviews by Lukas Hottinger and Daniel Vachard considerably improved this paper. We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft which provided financial support to this study (Gr 247/13-1, Pf 65/29-, Le 690/2-1)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Leppig
    • 1
  • Holger C Forke
    • 2
  • Michael Montenari
    • 3
  • Beate Fohrer
    • 4
  1. 1.Geologisches InstitutUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.BerlinGermany
  3. 3.Institut für GeowissenschaftenUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Institut für PaläontologieUniversität ErlangenErlangenGermany

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