May Be The Oldest Known Sign Of Life On Earth.
Scientists, as reported in the journal Nature, claimed to have discovered what they say could be microfossils of some of the earliest living organisms on Earth. These are represented by tiny filaments and tubes of a form of iron oxide in Canadian rocks, dated up to 4.28 billion years old, similar to the bacteria that thrive today around sea floor hydrothermal vents. This discovery predated perhaps the oldest acknowledged evidence of life on the planet found in Greenland last year described as 3.7 billion-year-old fossilised microbial mats, called stromatolites. All such claims about ancient life are contentious, but the team believes it can answer any doubts. The scientists’ putative microbes from the Hudson Bay shoreline in northern Quebec near the Nastapoka Islands are one-tenth the width of a human hair and contain significant quantities of haematite. The research initiated by Dr Dominic Papineau began in the quartz layers of Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt. These layers contain some of the Earth’s oldest known sedimentary rocks, which were likely formed by deep-sea hydrothermal vents that spewed out scalding water laden with minerals. Today, such vents are known to be important habitats for microbes.
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