Looking like a puffy white star studded with little pearls, this is the shell of an amoeboid protist called a foraminifera, or foram. An estimated four thousand types of forams live in the world's oceans.
The shells, called tests, are made mainly of calcium carbonate, which the animals derive from carbon atoms in the air and water. Forams thus play a significant role in the carbon cycle. (Magnification 75x)