with any living creature, morphology inherent within an organism must be
developed through a series of stages during that organisms lifespan. Foraminifera
are no exception having a somewhat complex cycle divided into two independent
parts. Gamogony and agamogony are the two periods in the life cycle of
foraminifera representing the sexually reproductive and asexually reproductive
stages, respectively. The attached animation cycles through these stages
beginning at the top with the mating of two gamonts of Glabratella
sulcata (Lipps, J.H. Fossil Prokaryotes
and Protists). Fertilization then results in the formation of zygotes.
These zygotes then undergo metagamic division forming young agamonts (bottom
of image). These agamonts grow to an adult at which point they undergo
several meiotic divisions forming agametes which will later grow to gamonts
thus completing the cycle.
This life cycle must be kept in mind when trying to classify the morphology of a given foraminifera specimen. Most classifications deal only with the typical fully developed adult life mode. Immature specimens may not have fully developed those characeristics which best define its family or species. This concludes most of the webpage and its description of foraminifera. There is still one last page containing a rare colour image of a living foraminifera that I managed to capture for your interest. Hope you enjoy it...