Small but Perfectly Formed
Micropalaeontology faunal slides
Look closely at the white flecks on the microscope slides. These tiny specimens, pain-stakingly extracted from rock samples then individually mounted on slides, tell stories of ancient oceans. They are Foraminifera, single-celled, water-dwelling organisms that produce a shell (or ‘test’) from either calcium carbonate or sediment particles.
Dying forams continually rain down on the seafloor and are gradually fossilised. The differences between the communities found in each sediment allow palaeontologists to date the samples and teach them how seawater composition and ocean circulation have changed through time.
These slides were collected over the course of 60 years of micropalaeontological research at UCL. The Micropalaeontology Collection is one of the highlights of the UCL Geology Collections, which continues to be essential to UCL Earth Scientists.
More images of the objects in this case, and how it was put together, can be seen here
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Small, but perfectly formed