• WordNet 3.6
    • n Foraminifera foraminifers
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Foraminifera (Zoöl) An extensive order of rhizopods which generally have a chambered calcareous shell formed by several united zooids. Many of them have perforated walls, whence the name. Some species are covered with sand. See Rhizophoda.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n foraminifera An order of Rhizopoda, belonging to the sub-kingdom Protozoa, furnished with a shell or test, simple or complex, usually perforated by pores (foramina), whence the name. The shell may be composed of horny matter, or of carbonate of lime secreted from the water in which they live, or may be fabricated by sticking together extraneous matters, such as particles of sand. Owing to the resemblance of their convoluted chambered shells to those of the nautilus, they were at first reckoned among the most highly organized mollusks. In reality they are among the simplest of the Protozoa. The body of a foraminifer is composed of granular, gelatinous, highly elastic sarcode, which not only fills the shell, but passes through the perforations to the exterior, there giving off long thread-like processes, called pseudopodia, interlacing one another so as to form a net like a spider's web. Internally the sarcode-body exhibits no structure or definite organs of any kind. A nucleus, which at one time was believed to be absent, has been discovered in these organisms. A remarkable formation known as nummulitic limestone receives its name from the presence of large coin-shaped foraminifers, generally about as large as an English shilling. The name is based on the French foraminifères of A. d'Orbigny, who regarded these organisms as cephalopodous mollusks, and named them from the foramina by means of which the cells communicate. He divided them into Helicostègues (with the subdivisions H. nautiloïdes, ammonoides, and turbinoides), Stichostègues, Enallostègues, Agathistègues, and Entomostègues, terms corresponding to Helicostega, Stichostega, Enallostega, Agathistega, and Entomostega. The most approved recent classification of the Foraminifera is by H. B. Brady, who divides the order into the families Gromiidæ, Miliolidæ, Astrorhizidæ, Lituolidæ, Textulariidæ, Chiloistomellidæ, Lagenidæ, Globigerinidæ, Rotalidæ, and Nummulinidæ. The problematic fossil of the Laurentian rocks of Canada, named Eozoön canadense, has been referred to the order, but its foraminiferal nature has been denied by most recent naturalists. By some authors the Foraminifera, under the name Reticularia, are regarded as a class of protozoans, and divided into 10 orders, corresponding with the above-named families. Thalamophora is a third name of these organisms.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Foraminifera an order of Rhizopoda, furnished with a shell or test, usually perforated by pores (foramina)
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. L. foramen, -aminis, a foramen + ferre, to bear
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—forāre, to pierce.


In literature:

They are the shells of animals called Foraminifera, because the shells of some of them are full of holes, through which they put out tiny arms.
"Madam How and Lady Why or, First Lessons in Earth Lore for Children" by Charles Kingsley
The minute foraminifera have, by their accumulated tests, mainly built up its enormous masses.
"Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XIX, No. 470, Jan. 3, 1885" by Various
Chalk; structure of; Foraminifera of; origin of; with flints; without flints.
"The Ancient Life History of the Earth" by Henry Alleyne Nicholson
Researches on the Foraminifera.
"Marine Protozoa from Woods Hole" by Gary N. Calkins
Certain Foraminifera have not varied since the Silurian epoch.
"Creative Evolution" by Henri Bergson
Chalk consists mainly of Foraminifera and fragments of shells deposited in a deep sea.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
Nummulites and other foraminifera also occur.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 3" by Various
There are plenty of foraminifera in the seas to-day; and we need not go far to find similar shells.
"The Geological Story of the Isle of Wight" by J. Cecil Hughes
Foraminifera in chalk, 26.
"A Manual of Elementary Geology" by Charles Lyell
What are foraminifera; radiolaria?
"A Guide for the Study of Animals" by Worrallo Whitney
F. Schaudinn compares the nuclei of the adult Foraminifera with the (vegetative) meganucleus of Infusora (q.v.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 6" by Various
Foraminifera, a group of protozoa provided with shells, 44.
"The Biological Problem of To-day" by Oscar Hertwig
In many cases it is certain that these are casts, which fill up the interior of empty shells of Foraminifera.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 1" by Various
This occurs in some of the Foraminifera.
"Stories of the Universe: Animal Life" by B. Lindsay
He became an authority on the foraminifera, on which subject he published numerous papers.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 6" by Various
The chalk-beds and cliffs of England, and of France, Greece, Spain, and America, were made by Foraminifera.
"Elementary Zoology, Second Edition" by Vernon L. Kellogg
Nummulites are large cone-shaped foraminifera with many chambers arranged in spiral order.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 16, Slice 6" by Various

In science:

Cini Castagnoli et al., 1999a] Cini Castagnoli, G., Bernasconi, S., Bonino, G., della Monica, P., and Taricco, C. (1999a). 700 year record of the 11 year solar cycle by planktonic foraminifera of a shallow water mediterranean core.
A selection of papers with some relevance to the investigation of the Sun-Climate link: Papers on Data, Methods and Commentary
Solar activity in the last millenium recorded in the δ18O profile of planktonic foraminifera of a shallow-water ionian sea core.
A selection of papers with some relevance to the investigation of the Sun-Climate link: Papers on Data, Methods and Commentary