Description of Foraminiferida
Granuloreticulosea, with shells (loricae); among the more abundant and most conspicuous protozoa in most marine and brackish water habitats; shells may be durable and are an important component of marine sediments and fossilize well; good geological record extending back to the Cambrian, planktonic more commonly benthic; large protozoa (range 60 µm-12 cm), life-spans often proportional to their sizes (days-years); some monothalamic species reproduce by binary fission, budding, or cytotomy; most have complex life cycles, involving both sexual and asexual reproduction; there may be morphological differences between the sexual (gamont) and asexual (agamont, schizont) phases of the life cycles; the materials used in the test (e.g. organic, agglutinated, various types of mineralized calcareous), the geometry of chambers (in multichambered species) and their construction, the form of the aperture(s) are some of the important characters used in foraminiferan identification and classification.; planktonic foraminifera are often hosts for endosymbiotic algae.
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