Fossilised stromatolite

Fossilised stromatolite

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fossil stromatolite. This polished slice through a rock shows layers of a fossilised stromatolite. Each layer began as a covering of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which captured grains of sediment and became mineralised. As more layers were added to the top over thousands of years, a stromatolite, or rocky mound, gradually formed. Fossilised stromatolites have been found within rocks as old as 3.5 billion years. This sample measures 300 millimetres across.

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Keywords: animal, animals, blue-green algae, cyanobacteria, fauna, fossil, fossilised, fossils, geological, geology, layer, layered, layers, microbe, microbes, microbial, mineralised, palaeontology, paleontology, polished, prehistoric, prehistory, rock, sediment, sedimentary, slice, stromatolite, stromatolites, wildlife

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