Pensacola Beach Forams

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KurtM
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Pensacola Beach Forams

#1 Post by KurtM » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:02 am

One of the forum members around here went on a family vacation to Pensacola Beach last week, and brought back a souvenir for yours truly: a big box of sand. Woo hoo! I'm like a kid at Christmas with my big box of sand! Man, it's great, there must be a dozen or more baggie samples, each generously annotated with date, location, etc.; he even gave me coordinates for each so I can Google Map 'em, very extremely cool.
:geek: :geek: :geek: (Yeah I'm geeking out big time.)

These are only the first, I'll be posting more. All were shot through the 10x/.25 plan achro on the AO 120 with top lighting, each image a stack of around 10.

No claims that the last one is valid - but if not a foram, it's still pretty cool. I think it may be a sewer hose, affectionately known as a "stinky slinky", for a microscopic RV.
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pensacola foram 05 1024px.jpg
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zzffnn
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#2 Post by zzffnn » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:19 am

Very nice, Kurt!

From which sample(s) did you obtain those forams?

The two most prevalent ones that I saw (with naked eyes) were not in the photos you posted. Those two were also around twice (or more) bigger. I have not examined my samples under scope, though.

The last subject does look like man-made material. It may look too small for sewer hose? Or maybe you were joking on that......

It would be really cool, if there are diatoms there too. Would take quite some careful fishing, I guess.
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#3 Post by JimT » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:29 am

So! a forum member gave you samples of Forams :D

Great images. I suspect the last one is something else.

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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#4 Post by KurtM » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:52 am

The last one is definitely the construct of some itty bitty sea critter. If you think pond life is diverse, you just haven't lived 'til you look at marine samples. It gets crazy, fast.

Fan, these are all from the only sample I've looked at closely as yet: submerged at Snorkel Reefs.

Here are a few images of generic sand grains from same, through the 4x/.12 with transmitted crossed POL lighting. The circles are bubbles in the glycerin I used as temporary mountant.
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IMG_0006_lzn.jpg
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IMG_0003_lzn.jpg
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Cheers,
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#5 Post by zzffnn » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:09 am

Interesting, Kurt.

I think the Hampton Inn sample should have some interesting forams there too, maybe even more.

For those who are interested, collection site of that "Snorkeling Reef" sample (that Kurt showed) can be seen at Google Maps or Google, if you simple paste over these coordinates:

30.347563,-87.053340
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#6 Post by hkv » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:00 pm

I think the last one is a joint of electical tubing. :-)
I have never found any of these in my waters
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#7 Post by KurtM » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:54 pm

Here are some pix from the Hampton Inn sample. I didn't find anything I'd call a proper foram yet, but lots of very interesting micro-seashells and tiny seashell fragments, and/or possible coral bits? Keep in mind that I have only scratched the surface at this point, lots more exploring to do. The first image, I measured 1.2 mm at its longest; that's a small sand grain lodged in its opening. The little clam shell looking thing in the second picture is a little less than 1 mm! I don't know if the last image is a foram or not, although my guess is that it is, based on the chambered structure among other things. Image four contains a couple sand grains as seen in plain light next to what I suspect may be some sort of coral fragment.

The image scale is the same for all images. All are stacks of 6 to 10 source images, and shot through the 4x/.12 plan achro on the AO 120 using top lighting.

Any true forams seen scattered about in some images are from the previous sample.
Attachments
HI sample 01.jpg
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HI sample 02.jpg
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HI sample 03.jpg
HI sample 03.jpg (42.38 KiB) Viewed 4612 times
HI sample 04.jpg
HI sample 04.jpg (113.12 KiB) Viewed 4612 times
HI sample 05.jpg
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Kurt Maurer
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#8 Post by zzffnn » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:27 am

Very nice, Kurt!

I don't know what is a true foram and what is not. At the sizes that you showed, it may be a few things. Maybe ask your foram mounter? Or an foram author at MicScape?

I have seen the two shells in the lower left corners of your latest photos #2 and #4. Lots of those in the Hampton Inn sample. Some bigger and more intact.

I would guess the last photo is a foram, though I am.not sure.

I also saw some foram like subjects in the Langdon Beach (submerged) sample. Those are much smaller (and can only fill 20x objective field), look like a snail shell but much smaller/ flatter / more transparent. At that small size, maybe chances of them being forams are higher?
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#9 Post by KurtM » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:05 am

Well, I know (have read) that what we call forams are the tests left behind by amoeboid protists, and chambered tests are characteristic. They are also well represented in the fossil record. Whether the ones we find in beach sand are fossil or recent is a question I've bounced around ever since discovering my first ones. I suspect fossil because they seem extraordinarily indestructible, and usually don't look particularly hollow besides. I really need to spend some quality time with my plankton net and see if I can't scare up some indisputably recent examples.

At the same time, I find it fascinatingly surprising that bivalve mollusks and gastropods exist in such tiny forms.

Like I said, it gets crazy, fast. 8-)

EDIT: Ooops: "There are an estimated 4,000 species living in the world's oceans today. Of these, 40 species are planktonic, that is they float in the water. The remainder live on or in the sand, mud, rocks and plants at the bottom of the ocean."
Ref: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Wetmore.html
Guess this gets me out of having to mess with that darned old plankton net... :P
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#10 Post by 75RR » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:24 am

Interesting thread. Had heard of them but never tried to find any.
Did a little internet surfing and found another link, this one has tips for starting out.

http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/chsmjh/micstart.htm

Curiously I was offered some meshes by the M8 seller, might get in touch with him and see what he wants for them.
Don't like the thought of lugging kilos of mud though!
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#11 Post by zzffnn » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:01 pm

75RR wrote: Don't like the thought of lugging kilos of mud though!
^ You would have to shovel, tag, contain, carry, wash, sieve and examine mud, grain by grain :twisted: And some interesting submerged mud can stink really bad.

Or you can bring a portable scope and determine if mud is worth collecting, at the spot. That is, if you have time and don't have jumping 2yo and 6yo with you.

My sand samples look quite different from each other, under scope. One quick 7 ml sampling easily told me which sand sample has shells/forams/diatoms (if sampling scope can go from 20x to 100x total mag. and have both reflected [for foram] and transmitted light [for diatom]). That way you don't need to collect all sand samples. You may miss something, but that should save some trouble of tagging, bagging and carrying.

Again, my samples look very different under scope, such that a quick small 7ml sample may represent a full bag. Two of my submerged sand samples, collected 2 hrs and 13 miles apart, but at similar surf side locations, look quite different under scope - one had good amounts of diatoms after sand was removed, but the other had very few.

I took note to collect only the surface (lighter) sand, as I expect diatoms/forams to be lighter than true sand mineral grains. I don't know for sure though. Also, in my case, submerged sand samples have diatoms, while dry sand samples have very few.
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#12 Post by gekko » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:06 pm

Beautiful. Effective lighting.

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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#13 Post by zzffnn » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:19 pm

Please excuse my terrible photo taken at iso6400. This is only intended to supplement Kurt's photo, especially his second to the last photo (which seems to be a broken piece of one of the forms in my photo). I am not sure these are forams, as they are quite big (objective used was 2x and on sensor magnification is close to 20x).

I took the photo only for keeping a record and did not intend it for photography. But then, I have not gotten a chance to get back to them, provide better lighting and find more intact shells.
Pensacola shells 2.jpg
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#14 Post by Radazz » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:54 pm

These are really beautiful.
Land locked all my life. Never seen this kind of sand.
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Re: Pensacola Beach Forams

#15 Post by zzffnn » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:38 pm

Here is a better image of the most abundant form. 3.7X NA 0.11 objective. Total magnification on sensor around 3.7x.
pensacola shell 4 jpeg.jpg
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