Benthic Foraminifera are abundantly present in modern and ancient marine sediments.  Although we need to learn more about the ecology that affect their preservation in the fossil record, they are nevertheless the best meifaunal group for giving a proxy record of past and marginal marine environments.  This is not only because they are abundant but because they have a test that is capable of preservation in the subsurface sedimentary record.

    Foraminifera are often used in different fields of environmental and earth sciences because of several factors:  a hard exoskeleton, small in size, high in abundance in small samples, wide distribution over marine environments and high taxonomic diversity.  Another important factor is they have very short reproductive cycles.  As a result, foraminifera are excellent recorders for environmental changes covering a short time span.