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Benthic foraminifera are commonly refered to as the bottom dwellers.  They live all along and beneath the ocean floor in the sediments.  Benthic organisms live in a wide array of environments, ranging from marshes to abyssal plains.   They are able to move and feed by use of pseudopodia. The type of pseudeopodia varies for each species.  They are excellent indicators of ocean depth and serve as the primary biostratigraphic indicators for paleontologists.  In just a handful of sediment, thousands of forams can be found.  Their small size is key in how important they are to research.  Planktic foraminifera live in the upper zone of the ocean.  These creatures are distributed worldwide, but found only in the open ocean.  When they die, they settle to the bottom of the ocean.  Planktonic forams are indicators of ocean currents and climates. The planktic and benthic forams can easily be seperated, because specific forams only live in special conditions and environments.

Image of a Foram
Bolivina subaenariensis - foraminifera approximately 1mm long.
(Photomicrograph courtesy B. Sen Gupta, Louisiana State University)

How do forams evolve?

Go "FORWARD" to find out!

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