Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona


Science Research Biostratigraphy and Palaeobiogeography of the Tethys Sea Micropalaeontology

Architecture, Biostratigraphy and Palaeobiogeography of Larger Foraminifera

Foraminifera are one of the most successful groups of fossil organisms through geological times, both from the point of view of diversity and abundance. Forams consist of a single cell (Protozoa)  that commonly develop a complex mineralized shell, which can reach up to 20 cm in size (largest species). The majority of the species are benthic, which live on or within the seafloor sediment, and others are planktonic. Among benthics, the small and structurally simple forms are usually called small benthic foraminifera, while large and structurally complex morphotypes are called larger benthic foraminifera (LBF).

In the geological record, larger benthic foraminifera are abundant in rocks deposited in  the shallow-marine domain of tropical-subtropical climatic areas characterized by stable nutrient-deficient environments. They have a complex architecture and are highly diverse. For all these reasons, the fossil associations of these organisms are highly useful for defining the age of the sedimentary deposits where they are found (Biostratigraphy) and for helping to determine the palaeoenvironment in which they lived (Palaeoecology). Furthermore, studying the global distribution of the different taxa helps to understand the evolution of marine basins over geological time (Palaeobiogeography).

In this area of research, the detailed taxonomical studies are considered to be one of the priority objectives and the basis for reaching a correct identification of taxa, as well as to learn about their evolutionary trends. Precise identifications are key to articulate the later use of larger benthic foraminifera in the different areas of geology.

To date, the team has developed studies dealing with larger benthic foraminifera from the Mesozoic (mainly the Upper Cretaceous) and the Cenozoic (mainly the Paleocene) of several geographic areas in Spain (such as the Baetic Mountains, Pre-Pyrenees, Garraf, Central Depression, and Asturian mountain ranges), Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Oman and Yemen.

Head of this area of research in the Museum: Dr. Vicent Vicedo

Most recent articles (JCR, Journal Citations Reports) (last 10 years)

  • Vicedo, V. & Piuz, A., (2016, online version). Evolutionary trends and biostratigraphical application of new Cenomanian alveolinoids (Foraminifera) from the Natih Formation of Oman. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
  • Serra-Kiel, J., Vicedo, V., Razin, P. & Grélaud, C., (2016). Selandian-Thanetian Larger Foraminifera from the lower Jafnayn Formation in the Sayq area (Eastern Oman Mountains). Geologica Acta, 14 (3): 315-333.
  • Vicedo, V. & Serra-Kiel, J., 2015. The new genus Azzarolina (Foraminifera): The false Taberina from the Paleocene of the Middle East. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 45 (4): 369-377.
  • Piuz, A., Meister, C. & Vicedo, V., 2014. New Alveolinoidea (Foraminifera) from the Cenomanian of Oman. Cretaceous Research, 50: 344-360.
  • Vicedo, V., Berlanga, J. A. & Serra-Kiel, J., 2014. Paleocene larger foraminifera from the Yucatán Peninsula (SE Mexico). Carnets de Géologie [Notebooks on Geology], 14 (4): 41-68.
  • González-Fernández, B., Menéndez-Casares, E., Vicedo, V., Aramburu, C. & Caus, E., 2014. New insights about the Upper Jurassic – Lower Cretaceous sedimentary successions from Asturias (NW Iberian Peninsula). Journal of Iberian Geology, 40(3), p. 409-430.
  • Robles-Salcedo, R., Rivas, G. , Vicedo, V. & Caus, E., 2013. Paleoenvironmental distribution of larger foraminifera in Upper Cretaceous siliciclastic-carbonate deposits (Arén Sandstone Formation, South Pyrenees, Northeastern Spain). Palaios, 28: 637–648.
  • Caus, E., Parente, M., Vicedo, V., Frijia, G. & Martínez, R., 2013. Broeckina gassoensis nov., a larger foraminiferal index fossil for the middle Coniacian shallow-water deposits of the Pyrenean Basin (NE Spain). Cretaceous Research, 45(2): 76-90.
  • Vicedo, V., Berlanga, J. A., Serra-Kiel , J. & Caus, E., 2013. Architecture and age of the foraminiferal genus Taberina Keijzer, 1945. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 43(2): 170-181.
  • Vicedo, V., Caus, E. & Frijia, G., 2013. Late Cretaceous alveolinaceans (larger foraminifera) of the Caribbean paleobioprovince and their stratigraphic distribution. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 11 (1): 1-25.
  • Frijia, G., Di Lucia, M., Vicedo, V., Günter, C., Ziemann, M.A. & Mutti, M., 2012. An extraordinary single-celled architect: A multi-technique study of the agglutinated shell of the larger foraminifer Mesorbitolina from the Lower Cretaceous of southern Italy. Marine Micropaleontology, 90-91: 60-71.
  • Boix, C., Frijia, G., Vicedo, V., Bernaus, J.M., Parente, M. & Caus, E., 2011. Larger foraminifera distribution and Sr-isotope stratigraphy of the La Cova limestones (Coniacian-Santonian, “Serra del Montsec”, Pyrenees/NE Spain). Cretaceous Research, 32: 806-822.
  • Vicedo, V., Frijia, G., Parente, M. & Caus, E., 2011. The Late Cretaceous genera Cuvillierinella, Cyclopseudedomia and Rhapydionina (Rhapydioninidae, Foraminiferida) in shallow-water carbonates of Pylos (Peloponnese, Greece). Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 41 (2); 155-169.
  • Vicedo, V., Calonge, A. & Caus, E., 2011. Cenomanian Rhapydioninids (Foraminiferida): Architecture of the shell and Stratigraphy. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 41 (1): 38-49.
  • Vicedo, V. & Serra-Kiel, J., 2011. Decastroia razini n. gen. n. sp., a new alveolinacean (Foraminiferida) from the Cenomanian of Socotra (Yemen). Geoarabia,16 (3): 17-26.
  • Vicedo, V., Aguilar, M., Caus, E. & Hottinger, L., 2009. Fusiform and laterally compressed alveolinaceans (Foraminiferida) from both sides of the Late Cretaceous Atlantic. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, 253/2-3: 229-247.




Research projects

  • El papel de la insularidad y posterior aislamiento geográfico de Iberia en grandes crisis bióticas del Cretácico-Paleógeno. aplicaciones bioestratigráficas y paleoambientales.

    Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
    3 years

    Reference: CGL2015-69805-P
    Lead researcher: Carles Martín Closas
    Applicant organization: Universitat de Barcelona