Changes in Foram Species Through Time
Forams, or Foraminifera, are a group of single-celled organisms that build shells from the minerals in the ocean. These shells, or tests, are preserved in sedimentary rocks and can be used to track changes in the environment over time. By analyzing foram tests in sedimentary rock layers, researchers can get an idea of the number of species present in different periods of Earth’s history. A study by J.K. Janson et al. (2020) looked at foram species in sedimentary rock layers from 66 million years ago to the present. The study found that before 66 million years ago, the number of foram species was relatively low, with around 25 species present. However, after 66 million years ago the number of species increased dramatically, with around 75 species present. This dramatic increase in foram species after 66 million years ago is likely due to several different factors (Janson et al, 2020). One factor is the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama, which occurred around 3 million years ago and connected the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This allowed for the exchange of species between the two oceans and the formation of new species. Additionally, the increased temperature and oxygen levels of the ocean after… Cont…
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