Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Key to oldest fossils

May 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

Odd Geometry of Bacteria May Provide New Way to Study Earth’s Oldest Fossils
ScienceDaily (May 17, 2010) — One way that geologists try to decipher how cells functioned as far back as 3 billion years is by studying modern microbial mats, or gooey layers of nutrient-exchanging bacteria that grow mostly on moist surfaces and collect dirt and minerals that crystallize over time. Eventually, the bacteria turn to stone just beneath the crystallized material, thereby recording their history within the crystalline skeletons. Known as stromatolites, the layered rock formations are considered to be the oldest fossils on Earth.

Tags: Evolution

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