Most early workers in the field of foraminifera were learned gentlemen with great curiosity and broad interests who pursued microscopy as a hobby. Through their careful observations, Carpenter and Williamson laid the foundations of our understanding of morphology, growth plans and wall structure. They made their observations at a time when the zoological affinities of foraminifera were still under discussion. Because of the variability of form they took a broad view of taxonomic relationships, especially of genera and species, which strongly influenced later workers.

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