The proportion of calcium carbonate varies greatly according to the amount of foraminifera and other calcareous organisms which it contains.
The limestones contain Globigerina and other Foraminifera, the siliceous beds are made of Radiolaria, sponge spicules and diatoms, while the red clay closely resembles the red clay of the deepest parts of the oceans.
Green mud differs to a greater extent from the blue mud, and owes its characteristic nature and colour to the presence of glauconite, which is formed inside the cases of foraminifera, the spines of echini and the spicules of sponges in a manner not yet understood.
Murray and Renard define globigerina ooze as containing at least 30% of calcium carbonate, in which the remains of pelagic (not benthonic) foraminifera predominate and in which remains of pelagic mollusca such as pteropods and heteropods, ostracodes and also coccoliths (minute calcareous algae) may also occur.
Not more than 25% of the deposit may consist of bottomdwelling foraminifera, echini or worm-tubes, and as a rule these make up only from 9 to io%.
In the animal kingdom it occurs as both calcite and aragonite in the tests of the foraminifera, echinoderms, brachiopoda, and mollusca; also in the skeletons of sponges and corals.
That the chalk was deposited in shallow, clear seas is indicated both by the character of the fossils other than foraminifera and by the relation of the chalk to the elastic portions of the series.
D'Orbigny's name for a genus of Perforate Foraminifera, distinguished by the flattened, lenticular discoid shell of many turns, finely perforated; chambers subdivided by incomplete septa into squarish chamberlets.
- Numerically, the most important inhabitants of the clear Carboniferous seas were the crinoids, corals, Foraminifera and brachiopods.
For the first time in the earth's history we find Foraminifera taking a prominent part in the marine faunas; the genus Fusulina was abundant in what is now Russia, China, Japan, North America; Valvulina had a wide range, as also had Endothyra and Archaediscus; Saccammina is a form well known in Britain and Belgium, and many others have been described; some Carboniferous genera are still extant.
The old land area still existed to the north, but doubtless much reduced in height; against this land, detrital deposits still continued to be formed, as in Scotland; while over central Ireland and central and northern England the clearer waters of the sea furnished a suitable home for countless corals, brachiopods and foraminifera and great beds of sea lilies; sponges flourished in many parts of the sea, and their remains contributed largely to the formation of the beds of chert.
The abundance of corals in some of the Carboniferous seas and possibly also the large size of some of the Productids and foraminifera may be taken as evidence of warm or temperate waters.
The fossils from the Rhaetic beds belong to the Avicula contorta zone, those from the Lias to the Ammonites angulatus zone, while the blocks of limestone with chert contain Inoceramus, Cretaceous foraminifera and other organisms. The materials yielding these fossils are embedded in a course volcanic agglomerate which gives rise to crags and is pierced by acid and basic igneous ricks.
Spicules of sponges and fragments of other organisms, such as molluscs, polyzoa, foraminifera and brachiopods, often occur in flint, and may be partly or wholly silicified with retention of their original structure.
140 species,' belonging to the Mollusca, Foraminifera, Echinodermata, Actinozoa and Plantae; but the researches of French geologists made the total number of Madagascar fossils known in 1907 to be not fewer than 280 species.
After I had learned a great many interesting things about the life and habits of the children of the sea--how in the midst of dashing waves the little polyps build the beautiful coral isles of the Pacific, and the foraminifera have made the chalk-hills of many a land--my teacher read me "The Chambered Nautilus," and showed me that the shell-building process of the mollusks is symbolical of the development of the mind.