Foraminiferal Sculpture Park
Saturday, December 26, 2009 10:49:13 AM
The image shows a SEM micrograph of benthic (bottom-dwelling) foraminiferum (Elphidium excavatum clavatum) (image USGS, scale 200 µm). Foraminifera ("Hole Bearers") are a large group of small single-cell marine organisms. They typically produce a test, or shell, which can have either one or multiple chambers, some becoming quite elaborate in structure. These shells are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or agglutinated sediment particles. About 275,000 species are recognized, both living and fossil. They are usually less than 1 mm in size, but some are much larger, and the largest recorded specimen reached 19 cm.
For pictures from the park click on one of the following links.