The presence of foraminifera, these microscopic creatures, is good news. Diatoms (see a few blogs earlier) are apparently not really flourishing in this environment, so instead of the diatoms, the foraminifera may help us to obtain an age for these rocks. Different species of foraminifera are characterized by different shell or test morphologies and through evolution one species followed another in the past. In other words: different shell morphologies are characteristic of different times in the past. So, these microfossils can help us to find out how old these rocks are.
Yesterday we celebrated the fact that we reached 500 meters below sea floor with the UNDRILL 500. The drillbit is currently already more than 700 meters below seafloor, but we didn't have time to celebrate earlier. The traditional Antarctic way of celebration (going back to Scott's and Shackleton's times) is that you dress up with elements of underwear (or sometimes men wear womens clothes and make-up, yeah really!). We were marching around the station dressed up, with the national flags of the team, a tuba and a trombone, good fun!