Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foraminifera of Kobrow

The first three pictures of the foraminifera is called Elphidium subnodosum (also known as Elphidiella) found in Sternberger Kuchen at Kobrow, Germany. Creature existed in the Upper Oligocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period (65-28 million years ago).  Images all magnified 40x by a microscope.

Thanks to Michael Hesemann at the German website http://www.foraminifera.eu for these specimens.

UPDATED: Thanks to Howard and Michael for the corrected identifications.

These next two foraminifera fossils are Palmula obliqua.

These next two images are Lenticulina sp.

These next two fossils are earstones of fish called otoliths (as identified by Michael's comment).  Learn more about otoliths at this link.


Anonymous said...

Great photos! I'm impressed with the quality of your images, considering you're not using expensive gear--you're inspiring me to try doing this with some of my specimens. I love forams--I studied them years ago in university and collect them, too, at every opportunity.

Your first three photos are a species of Elphidium, probably E. subnodosum, going by the Hesemann website. Cyclammina is an agglutinated foram, i.e. it makes its test (shell) out of little grains of sand or silt all glued together, so you can rule that one out right away; the species in your photos has a calcareous hyaline test (hyaline means "glass-like"), which you can see by looking at the keel around the periphery in photo 1--looks like clear glass. Lenticulina has a "multiple radial aperture" (a series of slits arranged in a star-shaped group--like the aperture of Nodosaria shown in figure 76 close-up on Mr. Hesemann's Kubrow page) at the outermost corner of the last chamber.

The last two photos, as you suspected, are definitely not forams. I dunno what they are, but they might be armour plates of some arthropod, or perhaps a mollusc (something along the lines of a limpet, but they're probably too small to be actual limpets).

Keep up the great work!


Michael said...

Dear Michael,

the last 2 images are earstones of fish called otoliths. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otolith) I can't tell though which fishes there are from.

To study environmental changes they are quite valuable. Fishes move around, several species over long distances. If conditions get worse/favorable a genera suddenly dis-/appears or diminishes/rises substantially in number.

In contrast benthic organisms and faunas tend to adopt first to changes. Shift in faunal composition or die out events occur only after certain tolerance levels are passed.

Thanks for working on that samples ! Cheers Michael Hesemann

As Howard pointed out the first 3 photos are classified by authors commonly as Elphidium subnodosum and by some as Elphidiella see http://www.foraminifera.eu/elphidium-subnodosum-kobrow.html

Fossil Detective said...

Thank you both for the identifications. I have updated the entry.

If you like forams I suggest you visit the website of the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research.

Also Forams2010 conference in Bonn, Germany. See their website: www.forams2010.uni-bonn.de