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Thursday, 8 September 2016

3.7 Billion years oldest fossil dig new evidences of life on Earth

In this photo provided by Laure Gauthiez, taken in July 2012, a field team examine rocks in Greenland. Scientists have found what they think is the oldest fossil on Earth, a remnant of life from 3.7 billion years ago when Earth's skies were orange and its oceans green. In a newly melted part of Greenland, Australian scientists found the leftover structure from a community of microbes that lived on an ancient seafloor, according to a study in Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 journal Nature. (Laure Gauthiez/The Australian National University via AP; Source: Phys dot Org)

3.7 billion years old fossil started a new chapter in History of first life on Earth. It was the time when skies were orange and oceans green. The oldest known fossil was found in the land with no green or Greenland where Australian scientists visit the new melted part with leftover structure from a community of microbes that lived on an ancient seabed. The research was published recently in the journal Nature.

Life has made itself quicker than it was thought even after half a billion years after Earth was born. The same might provide deep clues about life forming in different planets like on Mars. "It gives us an idea how our planet evolved and how life gained a foothold," said co-author of the study Martin VanKranendonk from University of New South Wales and Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

Scientists had thought that it would have taken half a billion years after the Earth was turning cold but the recent fossil evidences suggest that it might have happened quicker.

Australian team of Scientists excavated stromatolites that are microscopic layered structured formed by community of microbes. The stromatolites were 1 to 4 centimetres high.

"It is like the house left behind made by the microbes," VanKranendonk said.

Using standard dating method scientist found the fossil is about 3.7 years old. "It would have been a very different world. It would have had black continents, a green ocean with orange skies," he said.
Previously the oldest fossil was known to be 3.48 billion years old which was discovered in Australia by Abigail Allwood, a NASA’s astrobiologist. But Allwood was not convinced with VanKranendonk’s results. She feels that evidence is not enough conclusive whether it was life or some geologic quirk.

"It would be nice to have more evidence, but in these rocks that's a lot to ask," Allwood said in an email.

Source: Phys dot Org


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