Foraminifera

Micro photos of marine organisms

01

The objects that can be seen in this series of photos are fossils of organisms that populated the sea bed approximately 35 million years ago.

02

They are very small, less than a millimetre thick, but they give a good idea of how the sea must have been at this time.

03

The most obvious objects – yellow, blue and pink in colour (but translucent or whitish to the naked eye) – are foraminifera, marine organisms.

04

Today, these living forms are extinct, but they lived on the Earth for a brief period between roughly 55 and 25 million years ago.

05

The dark grains are fragments of red algae, so called for the colour that they have when alive. Seen with the naked eye, these fossils have a white, porcelain-like colour

06

Red algae needed light to live. In the Mediterranean, algae such as these can be found today, roughly 50 metres below the surface of the sea.

07

Scientists believe that the beaches of this sea should correspond to the high Lessini or the Valsugana.

08

Towards the Lombardy shore of Lake Garda and towards the Po Valley, on the other hand, the sea became deeper.

Name:

Fossiliferous limestone

Type of rock: Carbonatic sedimentary rock
Minerals presenti: Calcite
Fossils: Foraminifera, red algae, echinoderms, molluscs, bryozoans
Location: Nago (N.45°52’45.8″ E010°53’11.1″)
Formation: Limestone of Nago
Age:

Middle-upper ecocene (about 42-34 million years)

Depositional environment: shallow Sea (a few tens of meters), tropical

curiosity

These organisms are covered by a shell that can reach exceptional dimensions for a unicellular organism (up to 11-14 cm in diameter).