Two formaminefera specimens as photographed by a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Biostratigraphy was developed by William Smith in 1796 while supervising the construction of canals throughout England. As an amateur geologist, Smith recognized the distribution of strata based on their mineralogy and fossil content. Other contributions to geology include his geologic map of England which was the fisrt created using strata described by their fossil content.
In the 1830's, Cuvier noted that one could observe and record the extinction of fossils in strata. The irreversible process of evolution allows biostratigraphy it's autonomy for age determination and correlation.