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Title: A journey through morphological micropaleontology to molecular micropaleontology
Authors: Srinivasan, M. S.
Keywords: Paleontology
Molecular studies
Issue Date: Dec-2007
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Micropaleontology has undergone a remarkable change over the past 150 years. With the recognition of biostratigraphic utility of microfossils in petroleum exploration, micropaleontology received a new impetus from the early descriptive stage to noticeable and exciting trends in the early part of the 20th century. The changes have been primarily in the areas of systematics of smaller benthic foraminifera, biostratigraphy and precision in paleoecology mainly to cater the needs of oil companies. This marks the first major milestone - the development of Industrial micropaleontology. A dazzling shift in micropaleontology occurred in the seventies and eighties with the advent of intensive scientific ocean drilling programmes and availability of new instrumentation and analytical techniques to study microfossils. In addition, efforts to evolve multiple microfossil biostratigraphies and their integration with other fields such as magnetostratigraphy, stable isotopic stratigraphy, carbonate stratigraphy, computer application and more recently with molecular biology opened up multifaceted approach to micropaleontological research. This was indeed another important milestone in the history of development of micropaleontology. This led to a qualitative change in research emphasis in the areas of correlation, paleobiogeography, plankton evolution, paleoclimatology and paved way for new research areas like paleoceanography and molecular micropaleontology. Of late, microfossils have emerged as a very powerful and reliable tool to trace past variations in monsoon and to characterize tsunamigenic sediments. Thus, the subject of micropaleontology is becoming more and more important branch of Earth System Science for finding solutions to contemporary issues and that its future is indeed very bright.
Page(s): 251-271
ISSN: 0379-5136
Source:IJMS Vol.36(4) [December 2007]

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