Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Foraminifera

  • Alexander V. Altenbach
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_93

Synonyms

Forams (for short)

Definition

Foraminifera (from ancient Greek “hole bearers”, refers to the pores that early observers recognized in the calcitic tests) are amoeboid, eukaryotic protists with a large network of very thin cytoplasm extrusions (reticulopodia). Most species produce a genetically fixed shell (test), made of organic matter, agglutinated particles, calcite, aragonite, high-magnesium calcite, or opaline silica. The tests may be either simple bowls or tubes, or branched, coiled, substructured, and ornamented in diverse complexity. Several thousand species are found living in modern oceans, and this number still increases. Several times more extinct species are recovered from the fossil record. Foraminifera are considered an order (sometimes a class) in paleontology, subdivided by the structure and composition of modern and fossil tests. They are ranked among the “Granuloreticulosa” in biology, characterized by (1) their branching and anastomosing networks of...

Keywords

Benthic Foraminifera Planktonic Foraminifera Modern Ocean Planktic Foraminifera Ocean Realm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander V. Altenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Ludwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany