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Syracosphaera pemmadiscus

Syracosphaera pemmadiscus. Image credit: F. Hoe Chang, NIWA

'Syracosphaera pemmadiscus' F.H.Chang, 2013 is a species of coccolithophore microalgae described by NIWA’s Emeritus Dr Hoe Chang in 2013.

The species name ‘pemmadiscus’ is derived from the Latin ‘pemma’ (pastry, closest word to pie) and ‘discus’ (dish) since the coccoliths reminded Dr Chang of pie dishes. Their pie dish-shaped coccoliths are actually microscopic plates or scales made of calcium carbonate, and recent studies suggests that they may be threatened by ocean acidification caused by climate change.