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In biology, a lorica is a shell-like protective outer covering, often reinforced with sand grains and other particles that some protozoans and loricifera metazoans secrete. Usually it is tubular or conical in shape, with a loose case that is closed at one end. 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. 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.

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