Benthic foraminifera

Benthic forams disappear during periods of ocean acidification. Credit: Ellen Thomas

This foram survived a mass extinction event, only to disappear nine million years later.

Foraminifera are among the most common marine plankton species. The single-celled Stensioeina beccariiformis [above] once ranged across many depths in all oceans.

It managed to survive the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but it went extinct nine million years later, when the oceans acidified due to a massive CO2 release.

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