The Project
Foraminifera Gallery - illustrated Foram catalog

Online 5th of March 2021: 16.737 forams (1683 genera of Foraminifera)

Foraminifera eu Newsletter

February 2021: The Foraminifera eu Newsletter 2021 is out

It tells about our foram activities, your contributions and plans for 2021. The PDF has ten pages and is full of illustrations. If you want to get it: Subscribe with your email-address
Foraminifera eu Newsletter Subscription
Foraminifera, Forams from the Sahul Shelf

January 2021: Sahul Shelf and Timor Sea Foraminifera

By courtesy of the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research we are adding illustrations from Loeblich, A. R., Tappan, H. N., 1994: Foraminifera of the Sahul Shelf and Timor Sea. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication 31. 661 pp. So far 630 of about 2300 specimens are integrated. ... see more
Foraminifera, Forams Quinqueloculina
Foraminifera, Forams from the Mauritanian Slope

November 2020: Foraminifera from the Mauritanian Slope

The work on foraminifera from the Mauritanian Slope is an ongoing process with new SEM images added in November. The images are made by N. Mahnken, Senckenberg am Meer. The specimens are picked from material provided by Senckenberg am Meer and was sampled during cruise 16/3 of RV Maria S. Merian. ... see more
Foraminifera, Forams Ammolagena
Foraminifera, Forams from the Reykjanes Ridge

October 2020: Foraminifera from the Reykjanes Ridge

The work on foraminifera from the Reykjanes Ridge south of Iceland has been enlarged. Dieter Ketelsen and Cai-Uso Wohler - both from the team - picked forams and made about 450 images of 169 specimens. The raw material is provided by Senckenberg am Meer and was sampled during cruise 75 of RV Maria S. Merian. ... see more
Foraminifera, Pyrgo
What are Foraminifera and Forams

What are Foraminifera

Foraminifera, or forams for short, are single-celled organisms that live in the open ocean, along the coasts and in estuaries. They consist of cytoplasma, which is stabilized and protected by an inner shell called test. Either they float in the water column (planktonics) or live on the sea floor (benthics). Of the approximately 6,000 species living today, only about 50 species are planktonic. It is estimated that there are about 80.000 species, which went extinct.
Foraminifera, Forams, Bulimina

The word Foraminifera

The word is derived from the Latin words for opening "foramen" and to bear "ferre". So literaly foraminifera means opening bearing. Usually they have one major opening called aperture and miniature smaller ones. Some have secondary apertures. While openings are a mutual feature of all foraminifera, they play in taxonomy only a minor role. ...      more on apertures
Entzia, Foraminifera, Forams
Foraminifera, Forams, Habitat

Where do Foraminifera live ?

Foraminifera are abundant all over the oceans. A few species live in freshwater environments. Forams live in the deep sea, open waters, near shore and even in areas only partly covered by sea water. Each niche has a specific mixture of species, called fauna. Explore the foraminifera in todays oceans via the zoomable map of our finds or the database-query choosing an ocean, area and/or locality.
Adelosina, Foraminifera, Forams
Key to benthic Foraminifera, Forams

Benthic Foraminifera

They live on the seafloor and adapt to the local habitat. Major factors of such seafloor habitats are food supply, light, predators, water-depth, salinity, temperature and substrate. In the fossil record an assemblage of benthic foraminifera may lead to an understanding of the ancient habitat. Benthic foraminiferal species show a wide range of life styles and forms. ... to the images
Placopsilina, Foraminifera, Forams
Planktonic Foraminifera, Forams

Planktonic Foraminifera

They drift in the oceans. Their habitat are open waters from the surface to several hundred meters below. About 50 species live in todays oceans. Wide areas of the ocean floors are covered by their remains, the so called tests. They are used for palaeontological and stratigraphical studies (PDF) by Prof. Kucera.... to the images
Orbulina, Foraminifera, Forams
Taxonomy of Foraminifera, Forams

Taxonomy of Foraminifera

As single celled organisms with a nucleus, foraminifera belong to the kingdom of protists. They build an own phylum with 80.000 described species. The taxonomy is for more than 99% of the species based on the morphology of the test. The wall material of the test and the chamber arrangement are the most important features to describe benthic species. Consult our key to benthic species. For planktonics the test surface and chamber arrangement are important. Consult our key to planktonic species. Read more.
Foraminifera, Forams
Stratigraphic range of Foraminifera, Forams

Fossil Record of Foraminifera

The stratigraphic range of foraminifera extends from before the Cambrian till today. The first species had organic tests or were simple agglutinated tubes. In the Paleozoic Fusulinida dominated. In the Mesozoic an enormeous radiation of species took place till substantial extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous. The Cenozoic had a huge radiation. In total 80.000 species are described and used in the biostratigraphic studies. the fossil record
Ammobaculites, Foraminifera, Forams

Links to Foram Resources

World Foraminifera Database - part of the register of marine species.
Pformas@Microtax - major taxonomic resource for planktonics.
Organisations: Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research - The Micropaleontological Society - Micropress Europe and Grzybowksi Foundation - Microfossil Club Hamburg - just to mention a few.

A Citizen Science Project

The Project (FEUPRO) is run by a team of avocational scientists, who gets great support by professionals and amateurs. We want to foster the interest in foraminifera as an important but mainly neglected form of life. Our freely accessible database is a major outcome. We work out of natural enthusiasm on a strictly non-commercial basis. ... read more
Rosalina, Foraminifera, Forams
Foraminifera Database

The Database (FEUDAT)

FEUDAT contains to date 16.600+ datasets each with an image and 30 + attached data. The data allow to search for foraminifera on a wide range of criteria, which are on taxonomy, morphology, geography, geological time, collection, fauna and more. The result is presented as a plate with up to 500 images. FEUDAT is freely accessible. Contributors may find their collection of foraminifera better accessible than ever. ... to the database
Flosculinella, Foraminifera, Forams
Foraminifera Projects

Foraminifera Projects

Whenever contributors and we decide to work longer on a specific topic a project is established. In 2009 it started with the database. It is now part of our daily work. Then in 2010 we established the project "Sternberger Gestein". The Working group of Upper Cretaceous foraminifera is continuosly enlarging its catalog. Further projects are built on forams from Portugal and in glacial erratics.
Citharina, Foraminifera, Forams
Foraminifera Catalog, Forams Catalog

Catalogues of Foraminifera

A major outcome of the Project is a catalogue with to date 16.500+ entries. It is mainly achieved by projects and focussed work on specific foraminifera. One of the goals of these specific studies is to build catalogues of the according foraminifera. Whenever a representative amount of species are documented a catalogue is established. The catalogues are described below.
Neoflabellina, Foraminifera, Forams
Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera, Forams

Catalogue of Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera

The Working group of Upper Cretaceous foraminifera has created over time a catalogue of 2500+ Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera. It started with own finds from Upper Campanian quarries near Hamburg and was soon substantially enlarged by contributions of images by professionals. The enlargement is ongoing and your contribution is welcome to enlarge the coverage. ... to the catalogue
Pessagnoina, Foraminifera, Forams
Portugal Foraminifera, Forams

Catalogue of Portuguese Foraminifera

The Working group of Portuguese Foraminifera has created a catalogue of 800+ foraminifera from Portugal. The basis was 8 years of field work in the Algarve by Brian and Michael. Portuguese professionals contributed many SEM images. The catalogue comprises specimens from recent waters and fossil foraminifera from the Miocene, Cretaceous and Jurassic. ... to the catalogue
Spirillina, Foraminifera, Forams
Contribution of Foraminifera, Forams

How to contribute

We work strictly non commercial, money can"t be contributed. Raw material and picked specimens allow us to work on interesting stuff und explore new topics. With Images we may enlarge the coverage of the database. Comments and proposals often lead to improvements. Invitation to talks, field work and workshops allows us to get in touch with interested people. Provided publications preferably as PDF help us to improve our skills. Contact us
Samples of Foraminifera, Forams
Anna Waskowska Foraminifera collection


As a contributor you will get your own contributors page. It is freely online accessible to you and everyone interested. You will find your collection in our well structured database and thus made accessible over a substantial range of criteria. We add contributed images free of charge and check identifications. To a limited extent and willingness of the team we process raw material, extract forams, shoot optical images and identify specimens. ... to the list of contributors
Ammodiscus, Foraminifera, Forams
Micropaleontological slides for Foraminifera, Forams


Foraminifera should be properly stored in microslides. There are different types and manufacturers, the ones we use are described here
Plummercell for Foraminifera, Forams