Foraminifera (or forams, for short) belong to the Protozoa (unicellular animals). There are still Foraminifera alive today.
Timescale: Foraminifera has been around for a long time, about 5000 million years ago.
Foraminifera produce a shell, or test. The limestone that makes up the pyramids of Egypt is composed almost entirely of nummulitic benthic foraminifera.
Foraminifera are usually too small to see, but Nummulites laevigatus is a species that grew to an uncommonly large size. This means that you can sometimes see the details of the shell (see above).
|These Nummulites laevigatus were collected from Bracklesham Bay in Sussex. Size: 7mm - 18mm|
This is the inside of one of the Nummulites laevigatus. I carefully scraped away at one flat side with a pin to expose the inner chambers of the shell.|
© Jo Edkins 2008 - Return to Fossils index