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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Hastigerina pelagica

Foraminiferans are unicellular organisms that are found only in marine habitats. Hastigerina pelagica is one of the larger forms. It is often pinkish-red in color and has a calcareous test with several globular-shaped chambers from which radiate calcite spines covered with cytoplasmic strands (pseudopodia) for collecting food. Hasterigina pelagica is unique in that it surrounds its test with a gelatinous capsule of tiny frothy bubbles, which is thought to aid buoyancy. Dinoflagellates sometimes live on the surface of the capsule, and up to 79 have been counted on a single individual, though 6–10 is more common. The relationship between the two organisms is not clearly understood, as Hasterigina pelagica is carnivorous, yet the dinoflagellates are unharmed.

  • Kingdom Foraminifera
  • Length in (6 mm)
  • Habitat Warm waters at depth of 660 ft (200 m)
  • Distribution Subtropical and tropical waters of North Atlantic and western Indian Ocean