In biology, a lorica is a shell-like protective outer covering, often reinforced with sand grains and other particles that some protozoans and loriciferan animals secrete.[1] Usually it is tubular or conical in shape, with a loose case that is closed at one end.[2] An example is the protozoan genus Stentor, in which the lorica is trumpet-shaped. In the tintinnids, the lorica is frequently transparent and is used as domicile.[3] Halofolliculina corallasia has a lorica that is attached as an outer structure, and into which it retracts when disturbed.

There are three phases in the formation of lorica: agglomeration in a natural cast; helical extension; and stabilization.[4]

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  1. ^ Davis, Charles C. (1 January 1981). "Variations of lorica shape in the genus Ptychocylis (Protozoa: Tintinnina) in relation to species identification". Journal of Plankton Research. 3 (3): 433–443. doi:10.1093/plankt/3.3.433.
  2. ^ "lorica (biology) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  3. ^ "Mic-UK: TINTINNINAE". Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  4. ^ "Protozoan plankton ecology – Three phases of lorica formation". Retrieved 2009-08-16.