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by J. Tyszka

There are four methods of studying foraminifers: in vivo, in vitro, in fossilio, and in silico. Integration of all these methods seems to be the best way of studying foraminifers.

Foraminifera in vivo

In vivo is used to indicate the presence of a whole/living organism, in distinction to a partial, dead or fossil organism, or a computer model. Foraminifera in vivo can be studied either in situ or in culture experiments.

Foraminifera in vitro

Main in vitro experiments deal with molecular biology of foraminifers (DNA, proteins). Most of experiments focus on culture experiments of living foraminifers in aquaria, and actually are conducted in vivo in small glass containers. Such experiments search for behavioral and/or morphologic responses of foraminifers to changing conditions, such as food supply, salinity and temperature fluctuations, substrate effect etc.

Foraminifera in fossilio

In fossilio (Latin: "within fossil") methods focus on studying fossils, such as foraminiferal shells. This method covers all natural experiments recorded in fossil remains. Easily fossilizable foraminirera are perfect targets for in fossilio studies.

See The oldest fossil foraminifera

Foraminifera in silico

Foraminifera in silico: Virtual culture of foraminifers.

In silico methods are "performed on computer or via computer simulation." See: VirtuaLab.