Blog Posts Tagged "foraminifera"
Hi crew: Yesterday we saw the tiny calcareous nannofossils that makeup the major portion of calcareous ooze. These phytoplankton are so small you can’t even see them with your naked eye, yet they accumulate to great thickness in the deep-sea. Not all the microfossils are so small.
It has been at least a week since we've posted a science update. If you're following Expedition 320, however, you know that among other things, we're looking for and finding microfossils-- tiny radiolarians, foraminiferans, and calcareous nannofossils that help our scientists tease out the stories of climatic events of the past 50 million years.
Take a core,
look at a biogenic material section,
prepare a smear slide
and play with Forams.
That's it !
In between quick trips to the TV to watch the dynamic positioning folks try to get the drill pipe inserted, we had a great lesson from Leslie S. on foraminifera. These little guys (well, I guess some could be gals...) are tiny one-celled protists that create calcium carbonate tests (aka shells) that have one or more chambers.
Chatter on the ship suggests that operations have gone pretty well today. Some of my colleagues have summarized this process quite well, so I will not repeat it here. Words cannot express how impressed we are by the skills of all persons involved in this operation. Read the other blogs and you will know what I mean.
The foramiferans (little marine microorganisms) are telling a story ! But how to understand their langage ? That was the challenge of these last days for the rockers.
First, sampling for a core ( for example a core from site 1014 A - Upwelling zone in California), then washing the sediment ...
This picture shows one of a many-step process in finding out how many and what kind of BUGS may be in a core sample. By bugs we mean nanofossils, microfossils - in other words, ancient, once-living organisms that we cannot see with the naked eye.
This is the second part of Sev's documentation of the daily process of a foram paleontologist on board the JR. He specializes in benthic (bottom dwelling) forams.
This is the third and final part of Sev's documentation of the daily process of a foram paleontologist on board the JR. In this blog you can see a little of what he sees as we begin to understand what the cores can tell us.