This empty test is beginning to show signs of decay. The study of the process of decay is called taphonomy; understanding the processes that cause certain changes in foraminiferal tests after death is very important for the reconstruction of paleoenvironments. Individual isolated from the Hamble estuary, southern England. Image courtesy of Dr. Elisabeth Alve, University of Oslo. Citation: Alve, E. and Murray, J.W. Ecology and taphonomy of benthic foraminifera in a temperate mesotidal inlet. Journal of Foraminiferal Research 24:18-27.