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Xenophyophores (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 546

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Microbial Communities
Biotic Subclass Structure Forming Microbes
Biotic Group Xenophyophores
Biotic Community Occultammina Communities
Syringammina Communities

Definition Areas (typically found in hadal zones and on the abyssal plains) dominated by tests of large, living, benthic foraminifera ("forams"), most of which are epifaunal, moving very slowly over the seabed. The tests of these single-celled organisms may be surprisingly large, several or many centimeters in size. The multi-nucleated single cell lives in the interlaced fine tubules that constitute the structure of the test. The tests are made of secretions, scavenged minerals, and small particles around the tubules, and may take many shapes—rounded, globular, densely branching, or stick-like (protruding vertically from the sediment, with a portion that is buried). Evidence suggests that Xenophyophores exist in high densities over large areas of the abyssal and hadal seafloor.