Radiolarians and Foraminiferans are Marine Protozoans consisting of a single cell and a mineral skeleton called a test. These tests are either siliceous (radiolarians) or calcareous (foraminifera). Included in the category of zooplankton, they are carried by the great ocean currents. Fossil tests can be collected from deep ocean drills or recovered from ocean bottoms (radiolarian ooze). The mineralized tests can be viewed by various kings of microscopy and x-ray tomographic scanning devices. They can be modeled three dimensionally and converted into macroscopic representations.
Brightfield Microscopy of Radiolarians-Melding of Stacks of Focal Planes.
Radiolarians can be visualized with light microscopy but a limited depth of field (focus) produces images with blurry outlines due to out-of -focus structure above and below the plane of focus. A solution to this is a process called vertical melding where a through focus series is acquired and vertically melded so that only in focus structure is retained to form the final image. This produces clear, sharp images of radiolarians throughout their depth.