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Monday, 5 December 2016

2.5 billion years old bacteria reveals how they thrived even under harsh environmental conditions

Researchers from University of Cincinnati discovered the ancient bacteria which dates back 2.5 billion years ago. The picture of the ancient bubble shows that the bacteria thrived even when there were no proper sunlight and oxygen.

Fig: Fossils found in 2.5 billion-year-old rocks (pictured) show microbial life was thriving long before the atmosphere became rich in oxygen. The large, spherical structures are far larger than modern bacteria, and survived by oxidising sulphur. (Source: Daily Mail UK)

These microbe is known to fed off from sulphur and is found to be the oldest kind ever. Geologists unveiled this fossil in their expeditions to South Africa. The fossil evidence shows that oxygen levels where then just a fraction of what they are now today.

Over million of years early life was thought of photosynthesizing leading to greatest leak of oxygen levels on Earth, which is thought to be 2.3 billion of years ago.

Samples that were collected indicate that the microbes were thriving in deep oceans 2.8 billion years ago. The large spherical structure as shown here in the picture is larger than modern bacteria. These microbes oxidised sulphur similar to those bacteria found in hydrothermal vents today.

Dr. Andrew Czaja, who is a geologist at UC said, "These are the oldest reported fossil sulphur bacteria to date. This discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution."

Read More: Daily Mail UK


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