About the Project
Planktonic foraminifera are marine mixotrophic protists that are widely used to reconstruct past oceans and climates, due to the abundant fossil record of their calcite tests throughout much of the world’s ocean. They also are a focal taxa for studies of biology, ecology, and evolution for the same reason. One of the difficulties encountered by researchers in using this clade is the high standing morphological variability within species. Often it is difficult to decide if an individual contains the characters that define one species versus the next. Much of this difficulty arises because there simply are not enough examples of what each species looks like.
This website is aimed at changing that by providing abundant examples of what each planktonic foraminifera species looks like.
We have currently completed a large digitization effort for modern planktonic foraminiferal species. The species images come from a large community effort to identify images of planktonic foraminifera from Yale Peabody Museum Coretop Collection (see ‘Team’ and ‘Publications’) and from the Henry Buckley Collection of Planktonic Foraminifera at the Natural History Museum, London.
This project is a collaboration of members from Yale University, The Yale Peabody Museum and The Natural History Museum. We would like to acknowledge support from the American Chemical Society.
Data Access and Use
The Endless Forams Data Portal includes datasets comprising media and metadata from specimens in the Yale Peabody Museum Coretop Collection and the Henry Buckley Collection of Planktonic Foraminifera at the Natural History Museum, London. These datasets are made publicly available according to each contributing institution's data policy and adhere to open data standards such as Creative Commons CC-0 and CC-BY. The included metadata identifies applicable licenses for each image in a downloaded dataset. When accessed, users agree to comply with all of the terms of the respective licenses.