Although there is much controversy over the completeness of the fossil record, it should be mentioned how complete certain fossil groups are. Foraminifera are microorganisms which produce a hard shell (called a test), which is wonderfully preserved. They are microscopic, and exist in much greater numbers than macrofossils (those that can be seen with the naked eye), such as dinosaur bones. Because of this, they are much more likely to be preserved as there are so many more of them. Because of this sheer abundance, we have very complete lineages that cover hundreds of millions of years.

  Micropaleontologists take full advantage of this by studying how whole species and groups of species came into existence and gave rise to others. The ability to observe this kind of detailed record yields much information concerning evolutionary studies. It then leads us to formulate different explanations, or theories, on how this came to be. Contrary to what some creationists claim, the dispute is not over the credibility of the concept of evolution, but over the processes that drive it--the evolutionary theories. But don't take our word for it--consider the other pieces of the puzzle!

Some Cretacous Foraminifera (left) from the Albian of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia Canada. Scale bars are 50 micrometres each. Scanning electron micrographs by author.