PLANKRANGE: A Database of Planktonic Foraminiferal Ranges
(Stewart, D.R.M, & Pearson, P.N.  2000)

'Plankrange' is the latest version of a data base constructed detailing all planktonic foraminiferal ranges in geological time; compiled to species level and temporal resolution of 1Ma.


The genus and species level data were compiled in Excel by Duncan Stewart.  All known planktonic foraminifera species from a total of 33 references have been recorded.  Column 1 is the species number (arbitrary number assigned to each species in the data base); column 2-3 list the genus and species names; column 4-5 list the earliest recorded name of the species and the relevant author; 6,7 and 8 list the Range, F.A.D (First Appearance Datum), and the L.O.D. (Last Occurrence Datum) respectively; and column 9 lists the specific reference the range dates originate from.  The final column 'General Notes' is used mainly for quantifying part-zonal ranges and possible generic discrepancies.

Those dates that are in bold may be inaccurate.  This is the result of some of the range charts used not always specifying the exact F.A.D's and/or L.O.D's.

The data base contains a total of 600 species ranging from 173Ma (Jurassic - Bajocian) to the present day.  The original number exceeded 660 species; however, some of the major references are subject to taxonomic over-splitting and use of synonyms.  Removing such invalid species is still a tentative process especially in a group so susceptible to phyletic gradualism and morphospeciation.  For this reason the data base is being constantly updated.

Shift click (pc users) or Apple click (Mac users) here to download the data base in Excel format, then open with Excel.

This data base is for general use with reference to this website.  If anyone should have suggestions for revisions please contact the author on: D.R.M.Stewart@bris.ac.uk.

Last updated on: 1st of December 2002.


The latest version now divides all species into their depth habitats. These are S (surface mixed layer), I (intermediate, sub surface mixed layer) and D (deep, i.e. thermocline and subthermocline). This division is listed in the 'depth habitat' column, in addition to colour coding: red (S), blue-green (I) and deep blue (D). The references from which the palaeoecological preferences were derived are listed in final column. These references are summarised by a letter, which correspond to references listed below. Those taxa with no literature support for depth habitat are either left as unknown (?) or their depth habitat is inferred from morphology by the authors.

References for Plankrange data base:

General time scale ref:
Berggren, W.A., Kent, D.V., Swisher, C.C.III & Aubry, M, 1995.  'A Revised Cenozoic Geochronology and Chronostratigraphy'.  Geochronology Time Scales and Global Stratigraphic Correlation, SEPM Special Publication No.54,pp.129-212.

1. M.K. Boudagher-Fadel, F.T. Banner & J.E. Whittaker, 1997.  'The Early Evolutionary History of Planktonic Foraminifera'.  British Micropalaeontological Society pub.  Chapman and Hall.

2.  Pearson, N.P., 1998.  'Speciation and extinction asymmetries in palaeontological phylogenies: evidence for evolutionary progress.'  Palaeobiology, 24(3), 1998, pp.305-335.

3.  Hemleben, C., Spindler, M. & Anderson, O.R., 1989.  'Modern Planktonic Foraminifera.'  Springer-Verlag, New York, p.363.

4.  Olsson, R.K., Hemleben, C., Berggren, W.A. & Huber, B.T., 1999.  'Atlas of Palaeocene Planktonic Foraminifera.'  Smithsonian Contributions To Palaeobiology, 85, 1999.

5.  Kennet, J.P. & Srinivasen, S., 1983.  'Neogene Planktonic Foraminifera: A Phylogenetic Atlas.'  Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

6.  Spezzaferi, S., 1994.  'Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and taxonomy of the Oligiocene and lower Miocene in the oceanic record.  An overview.'  Palaeontographica Italica, Pubblicata a cura della societa toscana di scienze naturali, Vol. LXXXI, 1994.

7.  Bolli, H.M., Saunders J.B. & Perch-Nielsen, K., 1985.  'Plankton Stratigraphy.'  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

8.  Robaszynski, F. & Caron, M., 1979.  'Atlas de Foraminiferes Planctoniques du Cretace Moyen (Mer Boreale et Tethys).'  Cahiers de Micropaleontologie, 1.  Editions du Centre National de le Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

9.  Robaszynski, F. & Caron, M., Gonzalez Donoso, J.M. & Wonders, A.A.H., 1984.  E.W.G.P.F.  'Atlas of Late Cretaceous Globotruncanids.'  Revue de Micropaleontologie 26, (3-4), 1984, pp.145-305.

10.  Jenkins, D.G. & Orr, W.N., 1973.  'Globigerina utilisindex n. sp. from the Upper Eocene-Oligiocene of the eastern equatorial pacific'.  Journal of Foraminiferal Research v.3, no. 3, p. 113-136, pls. 1-3, July 1973.

11.  Li, Q., Radford, S.S. & Banner, T., 1992.  'Distribution of Microperforate Tenuitellid Planktonic Foraminifers in Holes 747A and 747B, Kerguelen Plateau'.  Wise, S., Jr., Schlich, R., et. al., 1992.  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol.120.

12.  Jenkins, D.G., 1971.  'New Zealand Cenozoic Planktonic Foraminifera'.  Paleontological Bulletin 42, New Zealand Geological Survey.  New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

13.  Eames, F.E., Banner, F.T., Blow, W.H. & Clarke, W.J., 1962.  'Mid-Tertiary Stratigraphic Correlation'.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1962.

14.  Blow, W.H., 1979.  'Cainozoic Globigerinida'.  E.J. Brill, 3 Volumes, Leiden, 1413pp.+Atlas.

15.  Hornibrook, N.D., 1984.  'Globorotalia (Planktic Foraminifera) at the Miocene Pliocene boundary in New Zealand'.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology, 1984, Vol. 46, Iss. 1-3, pp. 107-117.

16.  Parker, F.L., 1967.  'Late Tertiary Biostratigraphy (Planktonic Foraminifera) of Tropical Indo-Pacific Deep Sea Cores'.  Bulletin of American Palaeontology, 52 (235): 115-187.

17.  Jenkins, D.G., Whittaker, J.E., & Curry, D., 1998.  'Palaeogene triserial planktonic foraminifera.' Journal of Micropalaeontology, 17: 61-70, Part 1Apr 1998.

18.  Li, Q., Radford, S.S., & Banner, F.T., 1992.  'Distribution of Microperforate Tenuitellid Planktonic Foraminifers in Holes 747A and 747B, Kerguelen Plateau.  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 120, pp.569-602.

19.  Pearson, P.N., 1995.  'Planktonic foraminifer biostratigraphy and the development of pelagic caps on guyots in the Marshall Island group.  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 144, pp.21-59.

20.  Leoblich, A.R. Jnr. et. al. 1957.  'Studies in Foraminifera'.  United States National Museum Bulletin 215.  Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

21.  Pessagno, E.A. Jnr., 1967.  'Upper Cretaceous Planktonic Foraminifera from the Western Gulf coastal plain.  Palaeontographica Americana, Vol V No. 37.  Paleontological Research Institution Ithaca, NY, USA 14850.

22.  Smith, C.C., Pessagno, E.A. Jnr., 1973.  'Planktonic Foraminifera and Stratigraphy of the Corsican Formation (Maestrichtian), North-Central Texas'.  Cushamn Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication No.12, September 24, 1973.

23.  Longoria, J.F. & Vonfeldt, A.E., 1991.  'Taxonomy, Phylogenetics and Biochronology of Single-keeled Globotruncanids (Genus Globotruncanita Reiss)'.  Micropalaeontology, Vol. 37, no. 3, pp.197-243.

24.  Huber, B., 1990.  'Ontogenetic Morphometrics of some Late Cretaceous Trochospiral Planktonic Foraminifera from Austral Realm.  Smisthonian Contributions to Palaeobiology no.77, 1990.

25.  Bermudez, P.J., 1960/1.  'Contribucion al estudio de las Globigerindea de la region Caribe ñ Antillana (Paleoceno ñ Reciente)'.  Venezuela, Min. Minas Hidrocarb., Bol. Geol., Publ.  Espec., no 3, pp 1316.

26.  Jenkins, D.G., 1964.  'A History of the Holotype, Ontogeny and Dimorphism of Globotruncanoides turgida (Finlay).  Contributions from the Cushman Foundation of Foraminiferal Research, Vol XV, Part 3, July 1964.

27.  Pearson, P.N., 1995.  ' Planktonic Foraminifer Biostratigraphy and the Development of Pelagic Caps on Guyots in the Marshall Island Group'.  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol 144, pp.21-53.

28.  Li, Q. & Radford, S.S.,  1992.  'Morphology and Affinity of the Planktonic Foraminifer Cassigerinelloita amekiensis Stolk and Reclassification of Cassigerinelloita Stolk.'  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol 120, pp.595-602.

29.  Fleisher, R.L., 1974.  'Cenozoic Planktonic Foraminifera and Biostratigraphy, Arabian Sea, Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 23A.  Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, 23:1001-1072.

30.  Chaisson, W.P. & Pearson, P.N., 1997.  'Planktonic Foraminifer Biostratigraphy at Site 925: Middle Miocene-Pleistocene.'  Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol 154, pp.3-31.

31.  Li, Q, 1987.  'Origin, Phylogenetic development and systematic taxonomy of the Tenuitella plexus (Globigerinitidae, Globigerinina).'  Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 17(4):298-320.

32.   Bronnimann, P., & Brown, N.K.Jr., 1955.  'Taxonomy of the Globotruncanidae'.  Scweizerische Palaeontologische Geselleschaft, Eclogae geol. Helv. Vol. 48, 1955.

33.  Solakius, N. 1982.  'Description of a New Species, Globotruncana pseudoconica and Remarks on its Relation to Globotruncana conica White and Globotruncana falsostuarti Sigal'.  Geobios, no. 15, fasc. 6, pp.873-889, 2 fig., 3pl.  Lyon, decembre 1982.

Depth habitat references

A. Boersma, A., Premoli-Silva, I.P., 1991. Distribution of Paleogene planktonic foraminifera – analogies with the Recent. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 83 (1-3): 29-47.

B. Coxall, H. K, Pearson, P.N., Shackleton, N.J., Hall, M. A., 2000. Hantkeninid depth adaptation: An evolving life strategy in a changing ocean. Geology, v. 28, no. 1, p. 87-90.

C. D'Hondt, S., Zachos, J.C., 1998. Cretaceous foraminifera and the evolutionary history of planktic photosymbiosis. Paleobiology, 24 (4):512-523.

D. D'Hondt, S., Arthur, M.A., 2002. Deep water in the late Maastrichtian ocean. Paleoceanography, 17 (1): art. no. 1008.

E. Hodell, D.A., Vayavananda, A., 1993. Middle Miocene paleoceanography of the western equatorial pacific (DSDP 289) and the evolution of the Globorotalia (Fohsella). Marine Micropaleontology, 22 (4): 279-310.

F. Keller, G., 1985. Depth stratification of planktonic foraminifers in the Miocene Ocean. In: The Miocene Ocean: Paleoceanography and Biogeography. Edited by James P. Kennett. GSA Memoir 163. The Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, U.S., pp. 337.

G. Keller, G., Adatte, T., Stinnesbeck, W., et. al., 2002. Paleoecology of the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction in planktonic foraminifera. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 178 (3-4):257-297.

H. Norris, R.D., Corfield, R.M., Cartlidge, J.E., 1993. Evolution of depth ecology in the planktic foraminifera lineage Globorotalia (Fohsella). Geology, v. 21, p. 975-978.

I. Norris, R.D., Wilson, P.A., 1998. Low-latitude sea-surface temperatures for the mid-Cretaceous and the evolution of planktic foraminifera. Geology 26, 823-826.

J. Norris, R.D., Bice, K.L., Magno, E.A., Wilson, P.A., 2002. Jiggling the tropical thermostat in the Cretaceous hothouse. Geology, v. 30, no. 4, p. 299-302.

K. Pearson, P.N., Shackleton, N.J. & Hall, M.A., 1993. Stable isotope palaeoecology of middle Eocene planktonic foraminifera and multi-species isotope stratigraphy, DSDP Site 523, South Atlantic. J. Foraminiferal Res. 23, 123-140.

L. Pearson, P.N., Shackleton, N.J., 1995. Neogene multispecies planktonic foraminifer stable isotope record, Site 871, Limalok Guyot. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 144, pp. 401-410.

M. Pearson, P.N., Shackleton, N.J., Hall, M.A., 1997a. Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of Globigerinoides trilobus and Orbulina universa (planktonic foraminifer). J. Geol. Soc. London, Vol. 154, 1997, pp. 295-302.

N. Pearson, P.N., Shackleton, N.J., Weedon, G.P., Hall, M.A., 1997b. Multispecies planktonic foraminifer stable isotope stratigraphy through Oligo/Miocene boundary climatic cycles, Site 926. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 154, pp. 441-449.

O. Pearson, P.N., Ditchfield, P.W., Singano, J., Harcourt-Brown, K.G., Nicholas, C.J., Shackleton, N.J., Hall, M.A., 2001. Warm Late Cretaceous and Eocene tropical sea-surface temperatures. Nature, 413, 481-487.

O*. Pearson, P.N., Norris, R.D., Empson, A.J., 2001. Mutabella miriabilis gen. Et sp. nov., A Miocene microperforate planktonic foraminifer with an extreme level of intraspecific variability. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 31, no. 2, p. 120-132.

P. Schneider, C.E., Kennett, J.P., 1996. Isotopic evidence for interspecies habitat differences during evolution of the Neogene planktonic foraminiferal clade Globoconella. Paleobiology 22 (2): 282-303.

Q. Shackleton, N.J., Vincent, E., 1978. Oxygen and carbon isotope studies in the Recent foraminifera populations: Palaeoceanography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 48, p. 197-213.

R. Stewart, D.R.M., 2003. Evolution of Neogene globorotaliid foraminifera and Miocene climate change. Ph.D. Thesis.

S. Van Eijden, A.J.M., Ganssen, G.M., 1995. An Oligocene multi-species foraminiferal oxygen and carbon isotope record from ODP Hole 758A (Indian Ocean): paleoceanographic and paleo-ecologic implications. Marine Micropaleontology 25:47-65.

T. Wilson, P.A., Norris, R.D., 2001. Warm tropical ocean surface and global anoxia during the mid-Cretaceous period. Nature, vol. 412, p. 425-429.

U. Wilson, P.A., Norris, R.D., Cooper, M.J., 2002. Testing the Cretaceous greenhouse hypothesis using glassy foraminiferal calcite from the core of the Turonian tropics on Demerara Rise. Geology, v. 30; no. 7, p. 607-610.

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