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Los foraminíferos: presente y pasado

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... Thus, is expected that taxonomic descriptions of new and/or modern species of foraminifera with controversial classifications include genetic data in addition to morphologic information. Along with taxonomy, it is essential to study the living assemblages, their main features, life cycles and ecological tolerances in order to perform consistent and reliable paleo-interpretations (Calonge et al., 2001). In Portugal, most ecological studies based on estuarine foraminifera have been performed in order to establish modern databases through which fossil foraminiferal assemblages can be compared and interpreted (e.g., Fatela and Silva, 1990; Cearreta et al., 2002 Cearreta et al., , 2007 Andrade et al., 2004; Moreno et al., 2005; Fatela et al., 2009; Leorri et al., 2010 ). ...
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This study analyses the taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of the species of benthic foraminifera living on the intertidal margins of the Guadiana Estuary (SE Portugal, SW Spain). Of the 54 taxa identified during sampling campaigns in winter and summer, 49 are systematically listed and illustrated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) photographs. Ammonia spp. were the most ubiquitous calcareous taxa in both seasons. Morphological analysis and SEM images suggested three distinct morphotypes of the genus Ammonia, two of which proved to be Ammonia aberdoveyensis on the basis of partial rRNA analyses. Jadammina macrescens and Miliammina fusca were the most ubiquitous agglutinated taxa in the estuary. Jadammina macrescens dominates the upper-marsh zones almost exclusively, occurring at very high densities. Ammonia spp. are the most abundant in the low-marsh and tidal-flats of the lower reaches of the Guadiana Estuary, but are widespread throughout the estuary, especially during summer when environmental conditions favor their proliferation. Miliammina fusca dominates the sparsely vegetated low-marsh and tidal-flat zones of the upper reaches, where it is associated with calcareous species. Due to its geographical position, the Guadiana system shares characteristics of both Atlantic and Mediterranean estuaries. This is reflected in the foraminiferal assemblages, with a dominance of thermophilous species and an ecological zonation typical of the Mediterranean climatic zone.
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Three-dimensional models of fossil foraminifera by Lukas Hottinger». This work focuses on the relationship between art and science, from the point of view of scientific illustration as a popularisation tool. Professor Lukas Hottinger (1923-2011) was an expert on a group of microorganisms, foraminifera. He was a creative and prolific scientist, highly skilled at explaining the complex internal structure of the skeletons of these creatures through images. With an in-depth study of the drawings in more than two hundred scientific publications, the use of graphic representation in science is analysed, specifically in Palaeontology and how it has progressed and adapted to new technologies. It once again illustrates the importance of creating a three-dimensional drawing as an essential tool for discovering and explaining the more complicated aspects of the skeletons of microscopic beings. We show how the skill and artistic talent of scientists that study foraminifera, like Lukas Hottinger, make these illustrations unique and incomparable elements for transferring knowledge in micropalaeontology. The results confirm the undeniable importance of solid concepts and drawing techniques to express ideas with great clarity
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