Foraminifera Database - illustrated catalog
This foraminifera database provides an illustrated catalog run by the Foraminifera.eu lab.
It is searchable on taxonomy, morphology, geological time and geography.
Online 10th of December 2023: 21.975 illustrations of foraminifera (1.895 genera)
News and background:
December 2023: Catalog of modern Greater North Sea Foraminifera.
In the last two months we added another 300 images to our catalog, which now contains 792 illustrated specimens representing 238 species. We still lack material from the Norwegian Trench, England and the southwestern North Sea. .... to the catalog
November 2023: Lower Cretaceous Glacial Erratics
were found by Frank Wilcke in the gravel pit of Schwarz, north of Berlin. I visited him and took several samples from these marly to sandy finds back to our lab. We now started to extract the forams and made first images. The preservation of the tiny planktic specimens is rather good as can be seen in the SEM-images. Based on our identifications of the planktics we place the material into the Upper Albian, Lower Cretaceous. This is work in progress. .... to the images
July 2023: Sitka, Alaska, USA
The catalog of foraminifera from Alaska has been enlarged to 299 illustrated specimens. Fisherwomen Karen L. Johnson has sent us mud attached to her and her colleagues fishing gear with lots of foraminifera. We thank Karen for sharing her material with us. You may find images made by Karen and us on iNaturalist and here ...
March 2023: Paper on Mauritanian Foraminifera published.
Read my open access paper Hesemann, M. et al., 2023: Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the Mauritanian shelf and upper slope and their association with cold-water coral habitats. It contains 31 plates. .... to the paper
A Citizen Science Project
The Foraminifera.eu Lab (FEULAB) 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. By documenting the many species we want to rise the awareness for the biodiversity crisis in general. Our freely accessible database
major outcome. We work out of natural enthusiasm on a strictly non-commercial basis. ...
The Foraminifera.eu Database (FEUDAT)
FEUDAT contains to date 21.000+ datasets each with an image. It is freely searchable on a 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. Contributors may find their collection of foraminifera better accessible than ever. to the database
// It is described in Hesemann, M. 2015: The foraminifera.eu database: concept and status. Palaeontologia Electronica 18.3.48A: 1-14 to the PDF
With you, our contributors we work on projects. We extract, photograph, identify forams and interpret assemblages biologically and/or stratigraphically. We work with amateurs and professionals on simple to high levels. To process a beach sample from a school is easily done (see Greek Schools Project
). Working on core or deep-sea material is complex and may result in a peer reviewed paper (Hesemann, M. 2020: Foraminifera in the glacial erratic rock Heiligenhafener Kieselgestein of northern Germany in MP 66(5):397-418 Abstract
). Please contact us with your proposal.
Foraminifera in glacial erratics
Northern Germany is covered by glacial erratics brought to us during the ice ages. Foraminifera may be found in sedimentary erratics of marine origin. They are often well preserved and may be used to date the erratics. We thank the many contributors of the glacial erratics society for their help. We have extracted, photographed and identified so far 650+ specimens
Publications were made on forams in Cretaceous
erratics and papers on Oligocence and Upper Jurassic material are in the making.
Modern North Atlantic foraminifera
Based on hundreds of samples ranging from the beach to abyssal plains we are constantly working on foraminifera from the North Atlantic. In 2023 we are focussing on our catalog of Modern Greater North Sea foraminifera
. A peer reviewed paper on benthic forams associated with cold water corals off Mauritania was published. A submitted paper on deep sea forams is under review. Our work on samples from the Reykjanes Ridge
resulted in 240+ photographed specimens and that on the Mediterranean Sea
in 700+ datasets.
Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera
The Working group of Upper Cretaceous
has created over time a catalog of 2700+ 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
Alaskan modern foraminifera
Fisherwomen Karen L. Johnson contacted us with the idea to build an illustrated catalog of foraminifera from off Sitka, southern Alaska. She found sediments attached to her fishing gear with lots of foraminifera in them. We received anchor-mud material collected by Karen and her colleagues from the waters off Sitka. You may find images made by Karen and us partly on iNaturalist and here ...
Catalog of Portuguese Foraminifera
The Working group of Portuguese
has created a catalog 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 catalog comprises specimens from
recent waters and fossil foraminifera from the Miocene, Cretaceous and Jurassic. ... to the catalog
CONTRIBUTION AND BENEFITS
How to contribute
We work strictly non commercial, money can"t be contributed. Raw material
allow us to work on interesting stuff und explore new topics. With Images
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
As a contributor you will get your own contributors page. It is freely online accessible to
and everyone interested. You will find your collection in our well structured database
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
Foraminifera should be properly stored in microslides. There are different types and
manufacturers, the ones we use are described here
FORAMINIFERA - EXPLAINED
What are Foraminifera
Foraminifera, in short forams, are single-celled organisms which live in the oceans. 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 42.000 species, which went extinct.
The word Foraminifera
is derived from the Latin words "foramen" (=opening) and "ferre" (=to bear). Usually they have one major opening called aperture and miniature smaller ones. Some have secondary apertures. Within the taxonomy
of forams the openings only play a minor role. ... more on apertures
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.
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
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
by Prof. Kucera.... to the images
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
planktonics the test surface and chamber arrangement are important. Consult our
key to planktonic species
. Read more
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
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. ...to the fossil record