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Laboratory observations of benthic foraminiferal cysts
Heinz, P.; Geslin, E.; Hemleben, Ch. (2005). Laboratory observations of benthic foraminiferal cysts. Mar. Biol. Res. 1(2): 149-159
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Benthos; Cysts; Foraminifera; Sedimentary environments; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Heinz, P.
  • Geslin, E.
  • Hemleben, Ch.

    Long-term observations on living benthic foraminifera in the laboratory were performed to investigate their behaviour and life style. We noticed that the formation of cysts or sedimentary envelopes is a common feature within many groups of foraminifera (organic walled, agglutinated and calcareous) in the laboratory. Several kinds of cyst were observed. In most cases, the entire foraminiferal shell was canopied with detritus or particles, but some specimens covered only parts of their body, such as the aperture region or pseudopods. Cysts were found attached to the glass walls of culture vessels or free in and on the sediment. Foraminifera stayed within cysts for hours to weeks. After leaving sedimentary envelopes, some specimens immediately started to build new ones, others not. The function of cyst formation observed in the present study was not clear, except one case where reproduction took place. Some monitored structures seemed not to be sedimentary cysts but unilocular agglutinated foraminifera with probably allogromiid-like organization. The formation of sedimentary envelopes seems to be a very basic character of foraminifera, suggesting a mechanism for the evolution of shells.

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