Is Bathysiphon Aaltoi Miller, 1986 the Largest Foraminiferid?

William Miller III


Species in the genus Bathysiphon are among the largest foraminiferids ever described.  Bathysiphonids produce tests that may surpass the size of the associated metazoa (e.g. , Gage and Tyler, 1991;  Gooday et al., 1992).  Large fossil tests also have been described (Miller, 1991, 1995).  The tests are agglutinated, simple cylinders, often tens-of-centimeters long and several millimeters in diameter.  Most of the modern species occur in deep marine environments at bathyal to abyssal depths.  Fossil species are mostly restricted to off-shelf, basinal, and flysch deposits.  Loeblich and Tappan (1988) give the geologic range for Bathysiphon as Upper Triassic to Recent;  Conkin and Conkin (1977, text-fig. 1) extend the range of the genus back to the Middle Ordovician.

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