Radiolarians are amoeboid protozoa (diameter 0.1 - 0.2 mm). These minute “animals" produce a glossy skeleton made of silica and are one the most beautiful of all microplankton. They are found as zooplankton throughout the ocean, and their skeletal remains cover large portions of the ocean bottom as radiolarian ooze. Their rapid evolution, planktonic cosmopolitan nature, and immense diversity make them ideal index microfossils. Radiolarians have one of the longest geological ranges (Cambrian to Holocene). They are the most cosmopolitan in nature and range from pole to pole and surface to abyssal water depths. Radiolarians are not affected by the calcium compensation depth (CCD) as are calcareous forms, such as foraminifera. That is why in the last four decades, they have rapidly become one of the most important groups of microfossils in interpreting ages, paleoenvironments and the stratigraphy of the oceanic and continental crust. Based on their general shape, radiolarians can be classified in two major groups; Spumellarians, which have a somewhat spherical shape, and Nassellarians, which include cone-like forms.

Acanthocircus sp. A Actinomma interessanata

Acanthocircus sp. A

Actinomma interessanata

Emiluvia parvinodosa Pantanelium ranchitoenese

Emiluvia parvinodosa

Pantanelium ranchitoenese

Napora pyramidalis Pseudodictyomitra lodogaensis

Napora pyramidalis

Pseudodictyomitra lodogaensis

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