Articles | Volume 41, issue 2
Research article
01 Nov 2022
Research article |  | 01 Nov 2022

Analysing planktonic foraminiferal growth in three dimensions with foram3D: an R package for automated trait measurements from CT scans

Anieke Brombacher, Alex Searle-Barnes, Wenshu Zhang, and Thomas H. G. Ezard

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Cited articles

Apthorpe, M.: Middle Jurassic (Bajocian) planktonic foraminifera from the northwest Australian margin, J. Micropalaeontol., 39, 93–115,, 2020. 
Beldade, P., Mateus, A. R. A., and Keller, R. A.: Evolution and molecular mechanisms of adaptive developmental plasticity, Mol. Ecol., 20, 1347–1363,, 2011. 
Biolzi, M.: Morphometric analyses of the Late Neogene planktonic foraminiferal lineage Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, Mar. Micropaleontol., 18, 129–142,, 1991. 
Brigulgio, A., Metscher, B., and Hohenegger, J.: Growth rate biometric qunatification by X-ray microtomography on larger benthic foraminifera: three-dimensional measurements push Nummulitids into the fourth dimension, Turk. J. Earth Sci., 20, 683–699,, 2011. 
Brombacher, A., Elder, L. E., Hull, P. M., Wilson, P. A., and Ezard, T. H. G.: Calibration of test diameter and area as proxies for body size in the planktonic foraminifer Globoconella puncticulata, J. Foramin. Res., 48, 241–245,, 2018. 
Short summary
Foraminifera are sand-grain-sized marine organisms that build spiral shells. When they die, the shells sink to the sea floor where they are preserved for millions of years. We wrote a software package that automatically analyses the fossil spirals to learn about evolution of new shapes in the geological past. With this software we will be able to analyse larger datasets than we currently can, which will improve our understanding of the evolution of new species.