Earth’s oldest fossil could be the 3.4 billion year old microfossils discovered in Australia (Photo)

By on Aug 22, 2011 in Archaelogy, Australia, Environment, Science Comments

Geologists have recently discovered microfossils in Australia, as shown in the photo below which was said to be 3.4 billion years old and could the oldest fossils on Earth.



Sample of the “earth’s oldest fossil”
Image Credit: David Wacey/OX.ac.uk

According to a press release by University of Oxford on its official website on Monday, August 22, 2011, the “Earth’s oldest fossils” may show evidence of sulfur bacteria during those years.

As noted on the report, the discovery was made by a team from the University of Western Australia and Oxford University, with findings report published at Nature Geoscience on Sunday.

“At last we have good solid evidence for life over 3.4 billion years ago.” Professor Martin Brasier of the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University was quoted on the report.

“It confirms there were bacteria at this time, living without oxygen.” Brasier added, who is the co-author of the findings report, noting that such bacteria are still common today in smelly ditches and hot springs.

“We can be very sure about the age as the rocks were formed between two volcanic successions that narrow the possible age down to a few tens of millions of years.” Brasier explained.

Apparently, the said microfossils were found in Strelley Pool, a remote part in Western Australia, in which they were very well preserved between the quartz sand grains of the beach.



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