Meet the forams

Now that you have figured out the distribution of your forams in the core sample, here's what they look like. You can print out this guide.

Mrs. King studied these forams in Antarctica. Here are her notes. You can also learn more about forams on the Web.

Red skittleAstrammina rara
Astrammina rara
  • One of the most common forams in Explorers Cove
  • Reticulopodia are very strong: they can even catch baby shrimp
  • The cell has one very large nucleus: you can see it without a microscope

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Yellow skittlePyrgo peruviana
Pyrgo peruviana
  • Pyrgo are normally found in deep water: they can live in Explorers Cove because the water is very dark and cold
  • Unlike the other forams, it has many chambers in its shell. It adds them one at a time, first on one side, then on the other. This picture shows the newest and biggest chamber on the bottom, and the second newest is on the top
  • The shell is made out of calcium carbonate, like a clam shell, and is very hard

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Green skittleCrithionina delacai
Crithionina delacai
  • The cell body (which is white) is very gooey, and will explode if it touches the water surface (because its "surface tension" is lower than the water's). Other forams, like Astrammina, can survive being taken out of the water for a short time
  • The shell isn't glued together, like it is in Astrammina and Notodendrodes: instead, the foram holds the sand grains together with its reticulopodia
  • This foram is named after Dr. Ted DeLaca, an Antarctic scientist

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orange skittleCornuspira antarctica
Cornuspira antarctica
  • This foram also has a hard, calcium carbonate shell, but it has only two chambers: a very small one in the center, and the long coiled one
  • This foram can get very large: some of the older ones in Explorers Cove are half an inch (1 cm.) across
  • Forams like this are found all over the world

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Purple skittleNotodendrodes hyalinosphaira
Notodendrodes hyalinosphaira Facts about Notodendrodes hyalinosphaira:
  • This species can be found either as a simple sphere or in the tree form shown in the picture
  • We think the tree helps the foram lift up its reticulopodia so it can catch floating food
  • "Hyalinosphaira" means "glassy ball"; it is named that because it often makes its shell out of clear quartz crystals

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