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15.3: Marine Animals in Benthic Environments - Protozoa

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    • Contributed by Miracosta Oceanography 101
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    Protozoans are single-celled animals (microbes). In the ocean environment they have the role of primary consumers in the food chain (they are zooplankton).

    Protozoa are a diverse group of unicellular eukaryotic organisms. Historically, protozoa have been defined as single-celled organisms with animal-like behaviors, including motility (able to move) and predation. Protozoan that are major contributors to the food chain and to marine sediments include foraminifera and radiolarians.

    Figure 15.3. Many foraminifera have calcareous skeletons that accumulate as calcareous sediment.
    Figure 15.4. Radiolarians have siliceous tests that accumulate as siliceous sediment.