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Microfossils are tiny fossils. The limit is arbitrary put at a maximum of 4 millimeters, but in practice many micro- fossils of course are even smaller, even less than 1 millimeter. To study microfossils optical devices, such as microscopes are used. For very small ones, even an electron microscope.

Microfossils can have skeletons made ??from calcium, silica, phosphate, or organic material, depending on the species. Depending on the type of rock, one or more of these groups can occur.

Microfossils generally occur in large quantities in small sediment samples. This makes them ideal for investigating the stratigraphy. Examples of common microfossils are coccoliths, foraminifers (large foraminifers may be several centimeters in size, and are therefore not microfossils), dinoflagellates, ostracods, conodonts, fish remains, sponge needles, radiolarians, diatoms, pollen and spores of fungi.

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