Sunday, December 11, 2011

579 Forams from Greece on a single slide

The huge foram collection of coworker Karl-Otto Bock is housed in single plummercell-slides, where forams are neatly arranged in single fields. We have started to put his collection online with this plummercell slide. It is filled primarily with miliolid specimens found at the beach of Malia on Crete - a Greece island. The single fields are clickable and are integrated into the database.

To see more follow the link and click on the single fields of the

Plummercell slide from Malia, Crete


Friday, August 19, 2011

Construction material of Foraminifera

Agglutinated Foraminifera build their test of particles cemented together. Some species use whatever particles are available, while other species may select only sponge spicules, diatoms, mica flakes or certain sized particles to build their test.

Rhabdammina abyssorum M. Sars, 1869 from the South China Sea (3465m depth) using diatoms and other particles to build its test. see the whole specimen

Saccorhiza ramosa (Brady, 1879) from the South China Sea (3465m depth) likes sponge spicules to build its test. see the whole specimen

Here we show recent foraminifera. The material used by fossil agglutinated foraminifera may be used for special investigations of past geological events. Such an example are shock-diamonds found in tests after the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. The size of the diamonds found worldwide increase with proximity to the impact crater in Yucatan, Mexico. Source:

Kaminski, M.A., Armitage,D.A., Jones, A.P. (2008) Shocked Diamonds in agglutinated foraminifera from the Cretaceous/Paleogene Boundary, Italy - a preliminary report. In: Kaminski, M.A. & Coccioni, R. (eds). Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Agglutinated Foraminifera. Grzybowski Foundation Special Publication, 13, 265 pp.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Up for discussion: a new concept for the

For each genus we want to create a page with a short text-description and illustrations of the type species. Thus we hope to clarify the specifics of each genus. Below of the general description we show images and drawings of the species for this genus. Above you see as an example the genus page of Globorotalia Cushman, 1927. As we have illustrations for more than 450 genera, it will take months to add all descriptions and type species.

The new concept includes the notion, whether the classification is reviewed by a scientist or not. Anyhow as concepts of genera and species differ from author to author and in the course of time everybody needs to make up his/her own mind. Primarily we show images and drawings, which have an enduring value and secondly addressed names and classifications, which are changing. Reference for our classification and thus further reading is given on each single page.

Any comment on this new concept is welcome.

Michael Project

some more Genus Pages following the new concept:


Friday, May 6, 2011

Pleistocene Sample indicating 450m lift

A sample from the Peloritani mountains in the northeastern part of Sicily, Italy indicates that the terrain has been lifted by 450m or more within only 1,8 Mio. years since the early Pleistocene.

The material is taken from the Salice Outcrop lying today at 340m above sealevel. It contains several Globorotalia inflata, which first appeared in the latest Pliocene/Early Pleistocene. Geological studies place the Salice outcrop into the Early Pleistocene spanning from 1,8-0,8 million years BC.


The sample contains about 40% planktonic foraminiferal tests, which indicate water-depth of at least 100m at the time of deposition. Studies carried out in different parts of recent oceans proof a strong correlation between water-depth and share of planktonic foraminiferal tests in the sediment.


any question ? ask michael [at]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Workshop Micropaleontology 10/11. September

the lectures will be in german only, practical instructions are available in english.

Workshop Mikropaläontologie in Hamburg, Germany
10/11. September 2011, der AG Mikropaläontologie
im Naturwissenschaftlichen Verein Hamburg und

Samstag, den 10.9.2011
10:00 – 11:00 Begrüßung, Vorstellungsrunde, Erwartungen, Organisatorisches, Ausgabe
Arbeitsmaterial, Aufbau Mikroskope …
partial view
11:00 – 12:00 Vortrag Einführung in die Mikropaläontologie und ihre Arbeitsmethoden mit Diskussion

12:00 – 13.00 Bearbeitung rezenter Proben aus dem Mittelmeer, Kreide aus Lägerdorf, Kennenlernen typischer Vertreter, Nutzung der Literatur für Bestimmungen, Belegung des REM-Tellers

13:00 – 14:00 Mittagspause

14:00 – 15:00 Vortrag Foraminiferen und ihre Nutzung bei der Erdölförderung und für Umweltanalysen mit Diskussion

15:00 – 17:00 Bearbeitung Sternberger Gestein auf Foraminiferen und Bestimmung der Funde, Sichtung sortierter Plummerzellen mit 100+ Arten, Belegung des REM-Tellers

17:00 – 17:30 Schlussrunde
optional ab 19:30 Uhr gemeinsames Abendessen

Sonntag, den 11.9.2011
10:00 – 10:45 Vortrag Radiolarien mit Diskussion

10:45 – 11:30 Bearbeitung Tiefseeprobe Antarktis auf Radiolarien und Foraminiferen, Nutzung der Bestimmungsliteratur, Belegung des REM-Tellers

11:30 – 12:00 Vortrag Fotografie und REM

12:00 – 14:00 Aufnahme des REM-Tellers mit dem REM und Fertigung von optischen Fotos
In Gruppen zu 3-5 Personen, dazwischen Mittag nach Bedarf

14:00 – 14:30 Schlussrunde / offizielles Ende

14:30 – 17:00 Individuelle Beratung nach Bedarf

Adult 25 Euro, accompanying Children under 18 free,

Each participant will get
5 samples and SEM-images from the samples processed during the workshop , Print "Göke: Einführung in die Foraminiferen, Radiolarien und Diatomeen."
The equipment will be provided during the workshop (for each participant a binocular, picking devices ...)

Register till 31st. of July 2011 by sending an email to: michael [at] Please note, that about 22 places are available.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Drawings versus SEM- and optical imaging

The first foraminiferologists used drawings as the only available means of illustration. Nowadays the usage of SEM and optical imaging has become very popular. Drawings are out of fashion. The modern neglect of drawings though is questionable.
SEM and ESEM only show the surface. Internal structures seen in many transparent specimens are not visible. Soaked in oil or water even agglutinated forams show internal structures. As a result the SEM-images differ substantially from the real appearance, thus not representing, what should be shown.

Asterigerina rotula (Kaufmann, 1867), Eocene, Moravia, Czech Repbulic painted by Miroslav Bubik, Czech Geological Survey and SEM of Asterigerina guerichi Franke 1912, Eocene, Northern Germany.
While the SEM shows details, the drawing illustrates the internal structure.

Optical Images often lack quality

The optical images of Asterigerina guerichi Franke 1912, Oligocene, Kasseler Meeressande lack quality as many optical images. The smaller the size the more difficult gets the optical imaging. The main problem is caused by the thickness of the forams. The area of sharpness is very small, so that many images need to be made and stacked together. Thus optical imaging is far less used than SEM imaging.


Drawings should nowadays still be seen as a proper means in foram-illustration and should be used more. A combination of drawings, SEM- and optical-imaging is recommended to achieve the best result in optical representation:

Cibicides lobatulus (=Lobatula lobatula) (Walker & Jacob, 1798), recent, from sea around Smoegen, Sweden.

Cibicides lobatulus (=Lobatula lobatula) (Walker & Jacob, 1798), recent, from sea around Lizard, Cornwall, UK.

Cibicides arguta Bykova, 1954, Eocene, Moravia painted by Miroslav Bubik, Czech Geological Survey, Czech Republic