Coloured SEM of fossil bacteria on shell surface

Coloured SEM of fossil bacteria on shell surface

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This image is part of the feature Fossilised Bacteria

Credit: PHILIPPE PLAILLY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fossilised bacteria. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a type of fossilised bacteria. Some fossilised bacteria are the earliest evidence of life on earth. These rod shaped cells (red) are seen calcified on the shell of a single celled protozoan (order Foraminifera). Foraminifera shells form an important component of chalk & many deep sea oozes. Sedimentologist, Frances Westall has found bacterial fossils in rock and sediment samples from areas such as South Africa, the Antarctic and Europe. Some of these bacteria are dated at about 3.5 billion years old. Discovered in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

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Keywords: animal, animals, bacteria, earliest fossil life, foraminifera, fossil, fossil bacteria, fossil invertebrate, fossil on, fossilised, fossilized bacteria, fossils, invertebrates, on shell, palaeontology, paleontology, plankton, shell, zooplankton

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