Fossilised filamentous bacteria. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a type of fossilised filamentous bacterial cell. Some fossilised bacteria are the earliest evidence of life on earth. This long, rod-shaped cell (red) was found in silicate bed sedimentary rock obtained from drilling over 3,600 metres below the Atlantic Ocean. This cell is estimated to be about 10 million years old. It is part of a collection of bacterial fossils discovered by sedimentologist Frances Westall. She has found such fossils in rock samples from around the world. The earliest are dated as about 3.5 billion years old. Magnification: x2500 at 35mm size.
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