Definition of microfossil in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmīkrōˌfäs(ə)l/ /ˈmaɪkroʊˌfɑs(ə)l/


  • A fossil or fossil fragment that can be seen only with a microscope.

    ‘Micropalaeontology is the study of microfossils, a microfossil being any fossil that is best studied by means of a microscope.’
    • ‘A total of 772 samples have been analysed for microfossils from the proximal Cretaceous succession of the Orange Basin during the past 10 years.’
    • ‘The key to understanding the early evolution of eukaryotes lies in the Proterozoic fossil record, especially microfossils.’
    • ‘Brasier et al., however, questioned the biogenic validity of microfossils from the early Archaean Apex Chert in Australia and suggested that they may be artefacts created by abiogenic processes.’
    • ‘They are generally common microfossils in Phanerozoic marine sedimentary rocks, at least from the early Middle Ordovician onward.’
    • ‘Nor were these the only marine groups who left Jurassic microfossils.’
    • ‘During that first year in the oil business, Smith shared an office with a paleontologist who worked with the microfossils (mostly foraminifera) that are used to age-date the rock units of the Texas Gulf Coast.’
    • ‘Boundaries between the formations are all conformable but, in the absence of ammonites or microfossils, age control is not precise.’
    • ‘The dissolution of limestones in weak acid is now a standard palaeontological laboratory technique, and has been used extensively to isolate phosphatic microfossils of all types from Paleozoic carbonates.’
    • ‘To obtain a precise stratigraphic range for the radiolarian fauna, biostratigraphic analysis on the co-occurring microfossils, conodonts, chitinozoans, and graptolites, was also carried out.’
    • ‘Sediments from the Oliva host contained coarse sand and microscopic shell fragments but no complete microfossils.’
    • ‘The formation has yielded numerous fossils of stromatolites in addition to microfossils.’
    • ‘Microfossil assemblages from rare black and grey clays in this succession contain only a variety of seeds, Microcarpolithes hexagonalis and megaspores, and there are neither foraminifera nor other marine microfossils.’
    • ‘An astonishing diversity of unicellular microfossils has been discovered in 800-million-year-old rocks from Victoria Island.’
    • ‘A mid-Albian age has been recorded from marine planktonic microfossils found in limestones at the lower levels of the Las Chilcas Formation.’
    • ‘The spherules were previously interpreted as microfossils (Vallenia sp.) because of their spheroidal shapes and inclusions of carbonaceous matter.’
    • ‘These are the finest ultrastructure details thus far found in microbes preserved by hydrothermal mineralization, and can be used as an aid to identify microfossils.’
    • ‘Also, other microfossils such as diatoms, radiolaria, and planktonic and benthic foraminifera are useful in certain parts of the Palaeocene.’
    • ‘Once they have sketched the outlines of the basic chronology, geochemistry and geography, the rest will probably fall, microfossil by microfossil.’
    • ‘Conodont elements, the disarticulated bony remains of the complex conodont oral apparatus, are found as microfossils by the tens of thousands in virtually every Paleozoic marine sediment, everywhere in the world.’