Common Types of Microfossils 

Forams (Foraminifera) – single celled organisms that make a calcite shell; scientists can extract chemicals from   their shells that can tell us when the animal lived as well as what its environment was like (~500mya). Forams have been around for millions of years, and there are many kinds of species. We can also figure out what species of Forams are in the sediment to figure out how old the sediment is.

How can we use forams to learn about Earth’s climate?

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Pteropods

Clionae_Creseis_virgula.jpg

Coccoliths

Radiolaria – single celled organisms that make a shell of silica; by comparing living species to the fossil record, scientists can tell what past environments were like (~600mya) what does it mean if there are lots of radiolaria in your sample?https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/micro/gallery/radiolarians/radiolarians.html

Diatoms – a type of algae that make a shell of silica; by comparing living species to the fossil record, scientists can tell what past environments were like (~200mya) what does it mean if there are lots of diatoms in your sample?http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/D/diatom.html

Sponge spicules – the structural framework (skeleton) of sea sponges; they are typically made of silica and mesh together to give the sponge support.

Echinoid spines- the spines of Echinoids, such as sea urchins

 

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Common Types of Microfossils 

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