Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 42

Foraminifera

Marcelle BouDagher-Fadel

What are Foraminifera:


single-celled organisms (protists) Such
organisms are classified in the
Superkingdom of Protists or Protista
with a complex cell (Eukaryotes),
and genetic material within a cell
nucleus.

with characteristic net-like pseudopodia called


reticulopodia
organic or shell-like, agglutinated or secreted
outer protective layer, called a test
Cytoplasm is extruded as pseudopods
through the aperture and any perforations
in the test

Foraminifera are placed in the Cercozoa.


Cercozoans are amoebae with filose pseudopodia, often living within
hard test

Most foraminifera grow an elaborate, solid


calcite skeleton
made of a series of chambers.

The complexity of their shell


structures
and their evolution in time
the basis of their geological
usefulness as fossils.

Most foraminiferal tests are sand-sized


(>61 mm in diameter)

Both living and fossil


foraminifera

inhabited the oceans.


They are extremely abundant
in most marine sediments
in many different
environments, from live in
marine to brackish habitats
near shore to the deep sea,
and from near surface to the
ocean floor
Some
foraminifera live
in oligotrophic
reef associated
with algae.

Composition of fossil foraminifera tests varies


from
agglutinated (organic
compounds, sand grains and
other particles cemented
together, or crystalline calcite)

calcareous secreted from


calcium carbonate.

The test is commonly divided into chambers which


are added during growth

he test is thought to reduce biological, physical and chemical stress


The size of the test is associated with amount of the cytoplasm.
Feeding adds to the bulk of the cytoplasm, therefore, the test has to
enlarge.
Foraminifera have developed several strategies for test enlargement
during ontogeny
contained growth
test
continuous growth

complex septate
growth

unilocular

Bilocular test

simple septate
growth
Complex multiocular test

multilocular

These growth patterns result in a very diverse variety of test


morphologies

Both living and fossil foraminifera come in a variety of shapes


andsimplest
sizes forms are open
the
tubes or hollow spheres

Lagena
reticulation

Undivided chamber

Spirillina

Planispiral, evolute, undivided tube

perture terminal

Loxostomina.
a: aperture; ad: adapertural
depression; li: lip; tp: toothplate
with its serrated margin.

Carpenteria

aperture
cancellation

Main aperture

Secondary aperture
A-B: Globoturborotalites

milioline

Quinqueloculina

streptospiral

Pulleniatina

Planipiral involute

Elphidium

biserial

Heterohelix

trochospiral

Ammonia

Planipiral evolute

Spirillina

Streptospiral

Planispiral

Trochospiral

What are fossil


foraminifera?
Most foraminifers
construct tests (shells) covering the cell body.
Fossil foraminifera are the remains of their tests (shells).

They have inhabited the oceans for more than 500 million years and found
fossilised in most type of sedimentary rocks.
Fossils can be microscopic
or
a few centimeters long

Fully grown individuals range in size


from about 100 micrometers to
almost 20 centimeters long.

relatively small size of tests


(shells)

makes foraminifera
much more useful
than larger fossils

For,
biostratigraphic,
palaeo/environmental, palaeoceanographical
and palaeoclimatological reconstructi
or petroleum expl
because there can be thousands of specimens in a small
sediment sample.

The study of the sequence of sedimentary rock strata is the main source for
scientific knowledge about the Earths history, including biostratigraphy,
paleogeography, paleoclimatology and the history of life

Orders of foraminifera (underlined include larger foraminifera (see BouDagher-Fadel, 2008). In


red includes planktonic foraminifera)
ALLOGROMIDA: organic wall, usually 1 chamber; Cambrian-Recent
ASTRORHIZIDA: agglutinated, organic cement, usually 1 chamber or branching tube; CambrianRecent
LITUOLIDA: agglutinated, organic cement, many chambers, usually planispiral spiral; CambrianRecent
TROCHAMMINIDA: agglutinated; organic cement, many chambers, usually trochospiral; CambrianTEXTULARIIDA: agglutinated, low Mg-calcite cement; Cambrian-Recent
FUSULINIDA: microgranular calcite; many complex chambers; Silurian-Permian
MILIOLIDA: high Mg calcite, imperforate, many chambers (porcellaneous, no pores); miliolid
chamber arrangment; Carboniferous-Recent
CARTERINIDA: low Mg calcite, hyaline, pores or no pores; spicules, plani- or trochospiral; TertiaryRecent (?)
SPIRILLINIDA: low Mg calcite; hyaline; single crystal; spiral; Jurassic-Recent
LAGENIDA: low Mg calcite, hyaline; pores, 1 or many chambers, uniserial or planispiral;
monolamellar; Carboniferous-Recent
BULIMINIDA: low Mg calcite; hyaline; pores; many chambers; bilamellar; toothplate; Triassic?Recent
ROTALIIDA: low Mg calcite; hyaline; pores; many chambers; bilamellar; trocho- or planispiral,
annular, irregular; Triassic-Recent
GLOBIGERINIDA: low Mg calcite (aragonite in few extinct forms); pores; many chambers; bilamellar;
radial crystals (PLANKTON); Jurassic-Recent
INVOLUTINIDA: aragonite; 2 chambers - 2nd tube
ROBERTINIDA: aragonite; pores; many chambers; trochospiral; Triassic-Recent
SILICOLOCULINIDA:opaline silica, no pores; chamber arrangements as in miliolids; MioceneRecent
Genetic evidence suggests strongly that Allogromida (naked) and Astrorhizida (agglutinated) are
one order.

Life strategy
Planktonic foraminifera Benthic foraminifera

Live attached or free


Float in the surface of the open ocean
At all depth
and sea water column
marine, brackish and freshwater habitats
Wide distribution
sea-floor
pid evolution + short stratigraphic range
= excellent index fossil
Small
Larger

Benthic foraminifera
Benthic foraminifera are bottom dwelling
forms that can be either sessile or vagile.
Vagile (mobile) foraminifera
are free to move along the sea
floor and/or in its substrate
Cassidulina

Sessile foraminifera are


permanently attached or fixed
(not free-moving)

Ammobacculites

Miniacina

Benthic foraminifera
include two major groups of foraminifera

Small benthic foraminifera


with simple internal structures
live, attached or free, at all
depths, in most marine
environments, as well as in
brackish, marginal marine
environment with low alkanity.

Larger benthic foraminifera


with complicated internal structures
occur abundantly in the shelf regions of
most tropical and subtropical shallow
marine, especially in carbonate-rich,
environments

Benthic foraminifera are an important component of the deep-sea


biomass in the present oceans, adapted to its cold, dark, and extremely
oligotrophic environments.
Larger benthic foraminifera are important shallow marine rock builders
Faunas are highly diverse,
and many species have a
cosmopolitan distribution.

In addition to their interest as


indicator species living in the largest
habitat on earth, their tests have been
used extensively in isotope and trace
element analysis aimed at
reconstruction of past environments.

Larger Foraminifera with test sizes from 2mm up to 13cm are characteristic
organisms inhabiting shallow water subtropical and tropical environments
today.

Alveolina

Larger foraminifera prefer clear, nutrition


depleted water as can be found in the
surroundings of coral reefs.

House symbiotic algae

Two main factors acting as single


gradients regulate the distribution of
larger foraminifera within coral reef
complexes.

All house symbiotic microalgae and are


thus restricted to the photic zone (-130m),
getting independence from food resources
outside the cell.

The oldest fossil foraminifera, from


the Cambrian, are simple
agglutinated tubes.
Allogromia has a
proteinaceous test
with a single
chamber.

Bulimina

Cibicidoides

Fusulina

rice-grain shaped tests and evolved into


numerous widespread species during the
Permian but large forms went extinct at the
end of that period when a worldwide mass
extinction also eliminated most other reef
dwelling organisms.

BouDagher-Fadel, M.K., 2008.


Evolution and Geological Significance of Larger Be
nthic Foraminifera
, Developments in Palaeontology and
Stratigraphy, 21, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 544.
Haynes, J.R., 1981. Foraminifera.
MacMillan, London, pp 433.