MEASURING, MODELING, AND COMPARING GROWTH OF FUSULINIDS (FORAMINIFERIDA)
In this study, methods had to be adapted from molluscan coiling parameters. Independent reproducible results were obtained for most fusulinid specimens studied. Problems in applications of the method are associated with preparation of individual specimens (precise longitudinal sections required) and potentially poor preservation. Variations exists for all parameters within individuals, however, the magnitude of individual variation is far less than among species. Within the growth of an individual, there is a tendency for sequential non-random variation. Initial results demonstrate that the coiling parameters of S (the shape of the whorl), D (the distance of the generating whorl from the rotational axis), W (increase in the width of the whorl) as a combination serve to differentiate among fusulinid taxa in a theoretical coiling morphospace. This holds promise for direct comparison of both closely and distantly related groups in a wide range of paleobiological studies.