Palynomorphs form a geological record of importance in determining the type of prehistoric life that existed at the time the sedimentary formation was laid down. As a result, these microfossils give important clues to the prevailing climatic conditions of the time. Their paleontological utility derives from an abundance numbering in millions of cells per gram in organic marine deposits, even when such deposits are generally not fossiliferous. Palynomorphs, however, generally have been destroyed in metamorphic or recrystallized rocks.
Typically, palynomorphs are dinoflagellates, acritarchs, spores, pollen, fungi, scolecodonts (scleroprotein teeth, jaws and associated features of polychaete annelid) worms, arthropod organs (such as insect-mouth parts), chitinozoans and microforams.