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Scientists reveal oldest fossil ever found


Posted on Sunday, 17 November, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments

The fossil microbes were found in sandstone in Australia. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Brew Books
The foul-smelling single-celled microbes are believed to have lived more than 3.5 billion years ago.
The fossil microbes were discovered in a lump of sandstone rock recovered from a site in Western Australia. The ancient form of life is thought to have lived in clusters that would have operated as a single entity and had the appearance of a purple or green 'mat' on the surface of rocks.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of these ancient microbes would have been the smell caused by their solar-powered respiration process, an odor most likely to have resembled that of rotten eggs.

The find is particularly interesting because the fossil microbes are at least 300 million years older than anything ever discovered before and because, despite being found in a relatively well-traveled region, they had gone entirely unnoticed up until now despite numerous geological studies of the surrounding rocks.

Source: Independent | Comments (16)

Tags: Fossil, Microbes

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Chooky88 on 17 November, 2013, 19:44
Good old WA. Another claim to fame for my home state :-)
Comment icon #8 Posted by Eldorado on 17 November, 2013, 20:29
Good old WA. Another claim to fame for my home state :-) Stinkiest place on Earth? (lol... only kiddin)
Comment icon #9 Posted by Kelevra on 18 November, 2013, 8:20
Given most people breathe through their noses, what choice would you have? I would assume digging a fossil thats been around for 3.5 billion years you'd have masks and whatnot on.
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 on 18 November, 2013, 13:02
Interesting how we evolved from an odorous microbial mess and from this currently evolved state we eventually deteriorate back into an odorous microbial mess.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Thelaw1 on 18 November, 2013, 14:17
Did we kill this one too? jk Pretty amazing considering it is 300 million years older than the second oldest. When did Earth begin to cool down? I think it was right around this period wasn't it?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Chooky88 on 19 November, 2013, 9:07
Stinkiest place on Earth? (lol... only kiddin) It has some stinky parts. Meekatharra for example!
Comment icon #13 Posted by SameerPrehistorica on 24 November, 2013, 12:21
How smellier it will be if this animal could able to release gas.
Comment icon #14 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 24 November, 2013, 13:19
or my grandpa after he eats cabbage
Comment icon #15 Posted by SameerPrehistorica on 24 November, 2013, 17:29
or my grandpa after he eats cabbage LOLLLLLLL
Comment icon #16 Posted by ZaraKitty on 13 December, 2013, 13:43
Of course the stinky fossil lives in Australia. Dammit, we got to get our act together and get some cool fossils.


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