Foraminiferan test or shell (Elphidium crispum) lateral view, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Foraminifera are single-celled protozoa which construct and inhabit shells composed of several chambers. These are usually penetrated by pores through which the cellular contents is extruded. The organisms live in the sea or salt-water lakes. The shells form an important component of chalk. In previous geological ages foraminifera occurred in such enormous numbers that their shells, largely of calcium carbonate, have formed immense fossil deposits seen today as chalk and limestone. Magnification x132 at 10cm wide.
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