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Found 30 results

  1. Since the upload of Part 1 succeeded, I'll now offer up Part 2, a look at two interesting taxa from the family Globigerinidae. This family contains most of the taxa that we associate with the idea of "planktonic forams", perhaps due to our familiarity with the "globigerina oozes" that form a significant part of the floor of the modern world oceans. Globigerinoides ruber (d’Orbigny, 1839) is one of the two “red” species of globigerinids, as the specific epithet indicates. It is well-known that the color of individual specimens varies from white to pinkish-red, and it is typically the case that only some of its globular chambers exhibit the red coloration. I have specimens with all white chambers, one red chamber, two red chambers, etc., and have a single individual that is all red. Interestingly, the intensity of the color seems to increase with the number of chambers affected, so the all red specimen is very red indeed -- it is also a little smaller than average. Here is a typical specimen seen from the umbilical side, in a slightly oblique view, showing the primary aperture and one red chamber: The genus Globigerinoides differs from Globigerina in that its species exhibit secondary apertures, formed at the junctions of the spiral suture with intercameral sutures: Here is the spiral side of the same specimen, again presented in an oblique view, with two supplementary apertures, two red chambers at the left, and a pale pink one at the right. The top, final chamber is white, as is most frequently the case. This taxon is the commonest foram in the sample, by a large margin. The other red globigerinid is Globoturborotalita rubescens (Hofker, 1956). According to the World Foraminifera Database, it also occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, but I have seen no specimens in my sample as yet. This taxon shows four chambers in the umbilical view, rather than three, and lacks the secondary apertures. A second interesting globigerinid, quite different from the preceding, is Globigerinella siphonifera (d’Orbigny, 1839). This genus exhibits planispiral forms, rather than trochospiral -- all of the chambers are in the same plane. (Actually, the test begins growth in a trochospire, but quickly switches growth pattern to planispiral.) There is a primary aperture at the base of the final chamber, and in fully mature specimens like this one, the initial chambers enter the final one through the primary aperture: The final chamber appears to be “gobbling up” the initial chambers, like the snake that swallows its own tail. In Part 3 of this entry, I’ll examine three taxa from the Family Globorotaliidae. Stay tuned.......
  2. Planktonic Foraminifera are particularly important in biostratigraphic studies and correlation, as they are ubiquitous in marine deposits, and evolve rapidly. They first appeared in Middle Jurassic time, and thus have a long geological history. There are many phylogenetic and correlational studies available, and their rapid evolution makes them exceptionally useful as temporal markers, or guide fossils. I am currently looking at planktonic Foraminifera from a deep-water sample that was collected from the Dry Tortugas Islands, off of the coast of southern Florida. The sample was dredged from a depth of 215 meters, due south of the islands. This is an interesting area, as it represents the eastern extremity of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the northern edge of the Caribbean Sea. The sample is a very rich one, with numerous species of benthic Foraminifera, as well as a few ostracodes. There is a good selection of planktonic forams -- I have thus far identified ten species, and would like to discuss one of these, a member of the Family Pulleniatinidae. Pulleniatina obliquiloculata (Parker & Jones, 1862) is a rather unusual looking taxon, starting with a trochospiral growth pattern, but switching to a streptospiral pattern for its final chambers. It is globulose, and quite shiny, making it easy to recognize. It took me some time to locate a specimen for imaging, as most specimens have their aperture clogged with matrix. The aperture is low, but very broad, and the apertural surface of the chamber below it is strongly pustulose. If this image were rotated toward the viewer a bit it would be clear that a thin area just above the lip of the aperture (seen here as an imperforate band) also bears pustules, although they are not as strong as those beneath the aperture. For those interested in taxonomy, this species is the generotype of Pulleniatina. I am submitting this short blog entry to see if the recent problems with uploading to the forum have been fixed. If so, I'll be submitting other entries on this sample.
  3. One of the problems I experience in studying microfossils is that of orienting a specimen so that crucial characters are visible. An example: for identification it is often necessary to check the shape of the tooth in the aperture of taxa in the family Hauerinidae. The tooth can be long or short, plain or bifid, present or missing, etc. The aperture is on the end of the test, so it isn't possible to look into it when the test is lying flat -- which it always does when the test is lying in a tray under the scope. Of course, it is possible to use a little glue on the opposite end and manipulate it into a vertical position: but this is a lot easier said than done! However, there is a much easier way to look at such things -- use a mechanical two-axis stage, which will allow you to turn a specimen to literally any position under the stereo 'scope. One of my holiday gifts this year was just such a stage, of the type most commonly used by entomologists to examine pinned insects. To use the stage, I have a size 0 insect pin from which I removed the head with side-cutter pliers. I put a small drop of gum tragacanth on the resulting blunt end of the pin, and touch it to the side of the specimen I wish to examine, where it quickly dries. I stick the sharp end of the pin into the soft rubber plug of the rotating arm of the stage, and I'm set to go. I can alter the orientation of the specimen by rotating either of the two axles of the stage; by rotating the whole stage around its vertical axis I get the third "axle". The pin is not too distracting, and only the little area under the glue is not visible. This works quite well! In this image, the aperture is at the upper end, toward the top. (Oops, mispelled "hauerinid", drat...) Two chambers are visible on this side, and there are three chambers visible on the opposite side. One can't see the tooth in the aperture, par for the course when the test is lying flat. Let's look at another specimen, mounted on the mechanical stage: I rotated this specimen by 90 degrees from its "flat" position, and now the aperture is perfectly placed for inspection. The long tooth in the aperture is clearly visible, as is the thickening of the lip. Another example using different orientations: here the specimen is perched on top of the pin. The genus Lenticulina is planispiral and involute, and the aperture is at the upper end of the exposed face of the final chamber. The aperture is radiate; i.e., composed of several thin slits in the shape of an asterisk. This can be difficult to see. In this image the position of the aperture is marked by the arrow, but the nature of the aperture is not at all clear. Rotating the test by 90 degrees to get a profile view gives us a better look, and this profile view is also most useful in species identification: In this image, the test is mounted on the pin, which is glued to the underside of the specimen. So why is the pin not visible? To light specimens under the 'scope I use a two-arm fiber optic illuminator -- careful adjustment of the twin light heads can "eliminate" the pin with shadows. (Any remaining reflections from the pin are easily removed with image processing software.) If the pin were visible, it would extend downward to the lower edge of the image. Eliminating the pin makes the specimen appear to "float in midair", but at the expense of a weakly illuminated underside. This image shows the involute structure nicely, the apertural face, the swollen center of the test, the thin peripheral keel, and the pale aperture area at the right end. The aperture itself is still not well revealed, however. Let's adjust the orientation a little more: Turning the right end of the test upward toward the objective lenses, and boosting the magnification a bit, brings the radiate aperture into better view. Three of the radial slits, filled with contrasting matrix, are fairly clearly shown. Further rotation upward toward the objectives would provide a fuller view of the aperture, but this view is sufficient to demonstrate that the aperture is indeed radiate in structure. This method of mounting a specimen on a pin is totally non-destructive: to remove the specimen from the pin one just immerses it in a drop of water, where the gum tragacanth will quickly dissolve, leaving the specimen completely undamaged. Hopefully this blog entry will encourage others to explore ways to alter the orientation of their specimens, whether for identification purposes or photo-imaging.
  4. When I was preparing my previous entry on nodosariid forams from the Pecan Gap Chalk, I originally included a specimen that I had identified as a member of the genus Dentalina. This identification was incorrect, and I edited the entry to remove that specimen. Here it is again, with what I hope is the correct identification! The genus Strictocostella is a member of the family Stilostomellidae, and this species is illustrated in Frizzell's "Handbook of Cretaceous Foraminifera of Texas" as a member of the genus Stilostomella. He also listed it as occurring in the Pecan Gap Chalk. Better images can be found on the World Foraminifera Database -- they show specimens with some very small spines around the bases of each chamber, almost what one might call "hispid". The drawing in Frizzell does not show this feature, nor does my specimen. I have not yet looked at Cushman's original description, but I am reasonably confident that this difference is within the range of natural variation. (I have seen this kind of variation on images of other stilostomellids.) I like it when I "Live and Learn!" And I'm glad that I caught the error.............
  5. I have recently been studying a sample of washed residues from the Pecan Gap Chalk Formation of the Cretaceous Gulfian Series, from an outcrop in the vicinity of Austin, Texas. Most of the Gulfian formations are richly fossiliferous, and the Pecan Gap is no exception. It has abundant, well-preserved microfossils, particularly forams and ostracodes. In this blog entry I would like to show some forams of the family Nodosariidae, which I find of particular interest. All belong to the genus Frondicularia, which has compressed, biserial tests. Frondicularia archiaciana d'Orbigny, 1840 is one of the maddeningly similar "narrow" forms within the genus, whose identification often requires close attention to the contours of the test outline. The biserial growth form of the test appears in most members of the genus as inverted chevrons when the image is oriented with the aperture uppermost. This structure is more-or-less apparent depending on the relative transparency of the individual test, and it shows quite well in this image. What one is seeing are the suture lines between the chambers. The aperture in members of the Nodosariidae is radiate; this type of aperture does not stand up very well to post-depositional forces, and is very frequently broken away -- true of all four specimens in this entry. Frondicularia frankei Cushman, 1936 is one of a group of taxa within the genus in which the base of the test is not compressed. In profile, the base appears to be bulbous, with rather wide "ripples" oriented lengthwise. The upper 3/4 of the test is compressed, and appears quite flat in profile. The basal spine is one of the distinguishing characters of this species, although many others show such a spine also. Frondicularia intermittens Reuss, 1865 is another taxon of the "narrow" group, in which the chevrons produced by the biserial structure are less apparent. A few bright, length-wise streaks show that the sutures separating the chambers are depressed. The largest of the nodosariids that I have found thus far is Frondicularia mucronata Reuss, 1845. The larger, more ovoid appearance of this taxon is due in part to the greater length of the individual chambers, which also gives the "inverted chevron effect" a somewhat different character. The specific epithet is from the small basal tooth on the initial chamber (proloculus) of the test. Hopefully, readers have enjoyed looking at these little fossils. If so, stay tuned -- I'll be writing more about microfossils from the Texas Gulfian Series, and will also upload an entry on Pleistocene Ostracoda from the San Pedro Formation of California in the near future.
  6. I think it is a Nodobolivinella compressa - a foraminifera smaller than 0,5mm. I found it in an Oligocene sample from SW France sent to me by malacologist Dirk F. www.foraminifera.eu/single.php?no=1012309&aktion=suche Optical images. Three views of the same specimen.
  7. Coprolite with cephalopod inclusions

    This coprolite is from a marine creature that swam in the Jurassic seas that once covered this parts of England. The dark inclusions that can be seen on the surface are cephalopod hooks. In April 2016, the University of Minnesota X-ray Computed Tomography Lab scanned the specimen using a X5000 high resolution microCT system with a twin head 225 kV x-ray source and a Dexela area detector (3073 x 3889 pixels). Many of the images shown here are of individual 3D elements/features within the coprolite that were separated/isolated using Blob3D. The taxonomic classification given is for the inclusions, not the coprolite. Aside from the hooks, it is hard to definitively identify the inclusions without damage to the coprolite. The following is a list of inclusions: 241 hooks of various sizes that are at least 75% intact. 200+ plate-like fragments of various sizes. 19 ellipsoidal structures, possibly forams or parasite eggs. 2 unidentified long, straight conical structures joined at wide end (A) 1 long rod-like structure with a bulbous end (B) 1 unidentified mass that looks like it was the attachment point for 5 rod-like structures (C) 1 1ong cylindrical (rod) structure that tapers in the center. The center density is much lower than the outer shell (D) 1 irregular structure that looks I originally thought might be an ink sack or buccal mass, but the size is wrong. Experta think it is more likely foraminifera (E) 1 irregular structure, possibly a statolith (F) Acknowledgements: Thank you to Neale Monks and Christian Klug for providing input.
  8. Dear microfossil hunting colleagues, in a sq-inch on the seafloor and the water column above dozens or thousands of microorganisms usually live and lived. In fossil rocks and samples microfossils if present do not come alone but as an assemblage of different species and many specimens. These assemblages represent the environment in which the specimens lived. Besides of the micro-organisms living on the sea-ground there maybe many planktonic ones living in the water column above. When they die, their shell/remnants sink to the seafloor and intermingle with the remnants of those, who lived on the bottom. Please find in the image an example of my work on a Miocene sample from Quelfes, Portugal. It is just a start as many more species can be found in this material. Nonetheless is already tells the story of a nearshore Miocene and nutrient rich environment. I strongly recommend you to work on your samples likewise. WORK ON THE ASSEMBLAGE ! It is the true fossil record. Picking just the big, nice looking specimens is a man-made fabricate, which gives a misleading idea about, what is really there. Respect nature as it is and appears. Get a microcell with 10 or more holes and put the assemblage sorted by morphology in it. Then you have a true picture of the assemblage, environment, and geological time of the material. Have fun with your assemblages ! Foram-Mike
  9. Star-shaped microfossil

    Hi, having a bit of trouble identifying this microfossil. It was found in a marl formation of late Bartonian in age in the southern Spanish Pyrenees (the Oliana Anticline). The marl is rich in nummlitoid formainifera, however, this does not appear like the others. It could possibly be the cross section through an echinoderm spine?? Any suggests are much appreciated! (photo taken with x10 magnification)
  10. Pennsylvanian Foraminifera?

    I have found quite a number of these ranging from 1-4 mm or so. They are from the Kansas City Group of the Pennsylvanian Subsystem. I don't know the name of the strata, but for the locals, these come from the road cut about 1/4 mile west of I-49 on Route 150 near Belton, MO. I have found them in large (three to six inch) nodules. I will appreciate any help you can give me with identification? Russ
  11. In this entry I would like to show two of the commonest Foraminifera from my sample of the Florena Shale. The most common forams by far are the fusulinids, but as these are not identifiable without thin sections, they will have to wait until I'm equipped to deal with them. Excepting the fusulinids, the commonest foram is Globivalvulina bulloides (Brady, 1876): This taxon has an enrolled biserial structure, and in spiral view it typically exhibits one large and two smaller chambers, the sutures between them forming a rough T-shape. In the umbilical view the triangular projection into the umbilical area is characteristic. The many specimens show several different growth stages, but all are easily identifiable. The second most common non-fusulinid is Tetrataxis corona Cushman and Waters, 1928: This taxon is looks much like a Chinese straw hat: a very low cone, with a concave umbilical area. Chambers are added marginally, typically four per whorl, hence the generic name. Specimens vary greatly in size, representing various growth stages. The larger ones very frequently exhibit chipped or broken edges, probably due to postmortem damage.
  12. I have about 8 acres of coastal estuary in northern Nova Scotia, and decided to take a look at the estuary sediments to see if I could find any fossils. Yes, they are there! Microfossils and lots of other life including ostracoda. Using my hand lens I could see them very well. Will invest at sometime in a microscope and maybe I will see even more. Hand lens for scale for foraminifera and ostracod scale is in millimeters.
  13. Pyritized Jurassic foraminifer

    In our Jurassic samples from the Algarve, Portugal we found this pyritized Spirillina tenuissima. It is about 150µm in size. The work on this sample is ongoing and will take a while. First results are at www.foraminifera.eu/loc.php?locality=Mareta Michael Hesemann Foraminifera.eu Project Hamburg, Germany Have you got any Jurassic soft samples of marine origin to share ?
  14. There are several studies suggesting that all agglutinated foraminiferas are benthic. I would like to know if there are any published exceptions to that? So for example; can planktonik forams have agglutinated wall structures? I would be happy if you can let me know if there are any studies about this issue. Thank you in advance Cheers Korhan
  15. Eocene Foraminifera

    these thin sections shows Familly Soritidae from Eocene carbonates. with porcelaneous test they are mostly in close environments and lagoons
  16. Hi, I am trying to purchase a microscope which will allow the study of small foraminifera (around 100 micron in size). I've just received an Amscope, 3.5x-180x dissecting zoom stereo microscope and, after trying it out, I have the feeling this is not the winner. I can only use it at maximum power (180x) and this magnification is....ok but not enough. The image at this magnification is not very sharp either. It would be a struggle to identify my smallest specimens. Taking photos of them is almost an impossible task (I don't have a trilocular, I am just trying to take photos with a camera, through the eye piece). Could you please help and recommend what would be best to use for 100 micron size fossil? And I need to see them well enough to identify small morphology details. I am considering returning this and ordering a 3.5x-225x, which seems to be the highest magnification for a stereo microscope you can get from Amscope. That could probably do the job but still not make me extremely happy. Any ideas where I could find more powerful stereo microscopes which don't cost a fortune? Is it worth considering getting a compound microscope from Amscope? These have magnification ranges between 40x and 2000x but...are they the tools to use for foraminifera? I've only used stereo microscopes in university so far, nobody seemed to use compound ones for foraminifera. Also, any ideas if these things are any good: http://www.amscope.com/stereo-microscopes/500x-2mp-digital-usb-zoom-8-led-3d-microscope.html ? Sorry to throw so many questions at you. Any help would be much appreciated. Regards, Angela
  17. On the hottest day of the year (104°F) we made our field-trip to the chalk-quarry of Hoever, Northern Germany of Lower Campanian age. A local collector gave us his collection of bigger foraminifera. In one of these big Flabellinas (6000µm large) there are 1000 or more smaller foraminifera, like Heterolicids.
  18. This is my first "new topic" post to the FF, so I hope I'm doing this correctly. If you have a microscope or equivalent and a current or potential interest in micro-fossils, you might enjoy collecting at the following historic locality: Mississippian Salem Limestone, about 5 miles east of Salem, Indiana off Rt. 160; Spergen (Spurgeon) Hill, railroad cut (Manon RR) paralleling S. Harristown Rd, 0.75 mi north of Rt. 160; south end of Trackside Road; approximately 140 meters S of Harristown, Washington Co., Indiana; diminuitive fauna; Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates: 16S 585024.04 4272332.25. My first introduction to micro-fossils was in a paleontology lab I took during the 70’s with the focus of study on the foraminiferid, Endothyra baileyi (now called Globoendothyra baileyi). These tiny specimens were labeled “Spergen Hill” on their container without further description. A few years later, I was able to locate the source of the specimens as the type locality for the Salem Limestone (formerly, Spergen or Spergen Hill Limestone) of Middle Mississippian or Meramecean (Valmeyerian) age. Sratigraphically, it sits above the Harrodsburg Limestone and beneath the St. Louis Limestone. The locality is a railroad cut at Spergen Hill, just south of Harristown, Washington County, Indiana. The cut is relatively narrow and much caution is advised upon the advent of trains entering the cut. The rock at this locality is a medium to coarse grained, tan to gray, crossbedded calcarenite containing mostly microfossils. Macrofossils (somewhat sparse) are present in the formation but nowhere near the quantity of the microfossils (G. baileyi has been estimated at 1,000 / in3 in some portions of the strata). Besides single-celled eukaryotes (e.g., Globoendothyra), representatives of most of the major phyla are present in diminuitive form or as tiny fragments of the macro fauna (spines, plates, columnals, etc.) I’ve visited the location at least three times in the past and besides collecting macrofossils on these visits, I have also accumulated a quantity of the rock containing the microfossils. On arriving home, I pulverize the collected rock with a sledge to a fine granular size and wash and strain the residue through a porous cloth to remove any extra fine material (rock dust) The washed residue is then dried and placed in labeled plastic bags. Then, in the dead of winter when collecting is not possible for me and the “urge” to collect is compelling, I drag out a bag, place some of the residue in a shallow container under my scope and go fossil collecting and identifying! I use a very fine-pointed forceps, which I periodically ground to a piece of rubber (to avoid static electricity buildup) to pick out fossils from the residue. I find it a bit better for collecting the micros from this locality than using a wetted fine paintbrush. This location has been estimated to contain over 100 species of invertebrates on a micro level. More information can be found at http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/SalemMicrofossils.html. The attached photos were taken for a program I was giving on Indiana fossils to illustrate single-celled eukaryotes (Protozoa). The first photo shows a random selection of micro-specimens of various phyla collected from the residue with an emphasis on the G. baileyi. The second and third show sorted G. baileyi specimens and G. baileyi specimens with matrix, respectively. Two free texts with plates are available on some of the Spergen Hill microfauna at the following websites: Whitfield, R.P. On the fauna of the Lower Carboniferous limestones of Spergen Hill, Ind., with a revision of the descriptions of its fossils hitherto published, and illustrations of the species from the original type series. Bulletin of the AMNH; v. 1, article 5. (free download) https://books.google.com/books?id=ebYPAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA241&lpg=PA241&dq=whitfield,+R.P.+On+the+fauna+of+the+limestones+of+Spergen+Hill&source=bl&ots=iFhHvpc7qf&sig=XNpUBo45hKPRICv5fLdb0AlJktA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pO8_Ve70G-vlsATq-4EQ&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAg Cumings, E.R. et al. Fauna of the Salem Limestone of Indiana. (free download). https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fscholarworks.iu.edu%2Fdspace%2Fhandle%2F2022%2F12889&ei=G_o_Va3_CveasQSCu4HADA&usg=AFQjCNGsTNbr2RKBBebd6bnuISOcqvMsPw
  19. Ostrecode From Aurora, Nc

    Here is the first ostracode that I have ever found... YAY!!! It was found in some of the Lee Creek / Pungo formation matrix that I brought home from Aurora, NC after this year's fossil festival. The scale in the pictures is in 1/16 of an inch increments. I was totally surprised when I "stumbled across" this. Enjoy! Pictures: -Bill H.
  20. Large Oligocene Foraminifera from France A couple of weeks ago I received a package of 400g from Adrian - one of the few contributors for foraminifera.eu, who sends us samples. Adrian is a malacologist. It contained quite well preservered sediments from the Oligocene (Chattian) of Southern France, found near the city of Dax. Now we in Hamburg have made some SEMs and Bernard Remaud nice optical images. My identifications are Lepidocyclina sp. and two Miogypsina bantamensis. The size of the specimens is 3-4mm - extraordinary large forams. Michael Foraminifera.eu Project www.foraminifera.eu/dax.php
  21. How To Id Foraminifera

    I just discovered micropalentology a few days ago thanks to the Palaeocast podcast. I googled around a bit to figure out how to extract microfossils from various materials. I processed a kg or so of clay derived from Mississippian sandstone in Arkansas and am sorting through the reside now. I've already found a bunch of foraminifera, a crinoid stem section, and other microfossils I can't identify. Now that I have the fossils, how the heck to I go about identifying them? I got a copy of Armstrong & Brasier's "Microfossils" from the library today, but haven't had a chance to sit down with it. Are there any other books or resources that would also be useful? Are there any good general guides to microfossils? All I seem to find online are very basic line drawings with a single example of any given group, which to me doesn't seem particularly useful.
  22. Globotruncana linneiana (d'Orbigny, 1839)

    From the album Foraminifera

    Globotruncana linneiana (d'Orbigny, 1839) umbilical side indicative for Campanian to Upper Maastrichtian found reworked on the beach near Tunis, Tunisia http://www.foraminifera.eu/miliane.php

    © © Foram-Mike

  23. Globotruncana linneiana (d'Orbigny, 1839)

    From the album Foraminifera

    Globotruncana linneiana (d'Orbigny, 1839) spiral side indicative for Campanian to Upper Maastrichtian found reworked on the beach near Tunis, Tunisia http://www.foraminifera.eu/miliane.php

    © © Foram-Mike

  24. Nodosaria aspera

    From the album Foraminifera

    Nodosaria aspera found in Laegerdorf, Germany aged Campanian

    © Stefan Raveling / Michael Hesemann

  25. Fossil Foraminifera, Moapa Valley, Nevada

    Fossil Forams –our smallest but most numerous fossils, Moap Valley Progress, January 2, 2103 http://mvprogress.co...-fossils/print/ or http://mvprogress.co...merous-fossils/ Best wishes, Paul H.