Where in NZ Most marine rocks throughout New Zealand
When Some Mesozoic (250-65 million years ago) forms but the majority are Cenozoic (65 million years ago to present)
Scale Up to a few centimetres, but most are pinhead-sized, about 0.2 to 1 mm.

What are they?

  • Planktic foraminifera

    Planktic foraminifera

    Foraminifera are the most abundant animal fossils.
  • Single-celled, amoeba-like, protozoans which form a shell, or test, either from calcium carbonate (calcite) or from cemented grains of sand or other material (such as sponge spicules).
  • They live exclusively in the sea, but are found from the highest tide line to the greatest depths of the Earth's oceans.

Used for:

See some examples in our image gallery.