Post-Cambrian Testate Foraminifera as a System in its Evolution


V.I. Mikhalevich
Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Protozoology, Russia

Series: Animal Science, Issues and Professions
BISAC: SCI039000

Foraminifera is a big group of unicellular eukaryotic organisms, mostly sea animals, having a level of complexity striking for unicellular organisms. It includes over 4,500 genera and about 40,000 species, mostly now extinct. Their usual size is about 0.5 mm but some giant forms may reach 17 to 20 cm. Their multi-chambered advanced forms with their complex inner integrative systems represents the evolutionary attempt to overcome a unicellular level of organization. The role of the ramified system of the thinnest canals in their multi-chambered shells could be compared with the role of the blood system in Metazoans. The beauty of their shells attracted Leonardo da Vinci to describe them in his ornaments. The highest morphological variability of their shells along with the small number of their chromosomes may permit their usage in the future as classical objects of genetic-morphological studies. Their species are used as bio-indicators of recent and paleoenvironments, as well as markers of the carbohydrates bearing strata.

This book summarizes both the authors research and the literary data on the ultrastructure of foraminiferal living cells and skeleton along with some biological data and represents fundamentally new concepts of the evolution and classification of the phylum Foraminifera elaborated by the author since the beginning of the 1980s and later supported by the molecular data of the Western school. Foraminifera is the group having the most full and representative geological record providing a way to see and study their evolution in the most demonstrative way. This permits the author on the basis of comparative morphological analysis and some other related unicellular eukaryotic groups to study in detail the main evolutionary regularities at the unicellular level of life which previously have been studied mostly in multicellular organisms. Research is concentrated about the evolutionary regularities representing the mainstream of evolutionary development and permitting the structures to achieve a new and higher level of organization, opening pathways to further evolutionary change. The general character of these regularities which can be applied to the social level of life as well is examined.

This book may be of interest to specialists in protozoology, micropaleontology, oceanography, ecology, stratigraphy, and evolution and to university courses and students, and everybody else for whom the question of how life is organized and how it develops is of interest. (Imprint: Nova)




Table of Contents



Chapter I. Phylum Foraminifera d’Orbigny, 1826

Chapter II. General Characteristics

Chapter III. Historical Sketch

Chapter IV. Classification

Chapter V. Shell Morphology and Shell Wall Ultrastructure

Chapter VI. Cytology and Physiology

Chapter VII. Observations on Some Recent Miliolids in Culture

Chapter VIII. The Main Trends in the Foraminiferal Evolution

Chapter IX. Taxonomic Conclusions of the Comparative Morphologic
Analysis of Foraminiferal Evolutionary Trends

Chapter X. Universal Character of the Evolutionary Regularities
(Foraminifera as a Part of the Universe)

Chapter XI. Systematic Part

Chapter XII. Summary

List of References Used and Recommended

Index of Latin Names


“The book begins with a historical review of the previous attempts at classifying the Foraminifera beginning with d’Orbigny. Both western and Russian sources are quoted, so the review is quite comprehensive and an impressive list of references is cited.”READ MORE… – Mike Kaminski, Professor, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. Published in the Newsletter of Micropaleontology.

Additional Information

The book may be of interest to the specialists in protozoology, micropaleontology, oceanography, ecology, stratigraphy, evolution, to the readers of the school and University courses and students, and to everybody for whom it is interesting how the life is organized and how it develops.


Additional information