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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore

Creature Features


Star Sand

I can be found on Lord Howe Island
Can you see me?
Can you see me now?

Now you can see me?

But what am I?

• My common name is Star sand
• But I’m not really sand
• I am the remains (shells) of animals called forams short for foraminifera
• Other forams have different shapes, one is a circle with a hole in the middle


Want to know more?

Forams are:

• Tiny little animals
• The star shaped bits we find in the sand are their shells (tests)
• They are made of just one cell
• Most live on the bottom of the ocean
• These ones are found on algae, rocks and reefs
• They catch tiny bits of food on sticky threads
• They get eaten by sea snails and sea urchins


Why are they called forams?

• They got their name from the holes they have between the chambers of their shells
• The 3-dimensional star shaped shells are really interesting to look at up close


What happens if you look closer?

• Notice they are 3 dimensional in shape
• They also have dots on them


What if you look even closer?

• Can you see the lines joining up the dots
• These let water flow through into the chambers inside the test carrying food for the animal inside








Marine and Atmospheric Research


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