SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Light micrograph of a rock thin section of Gunflint cherts from Ontario, Canada, showing fossil remains of the earliest life forms yet found, dating from two billion years ago. At this magnification structures are hard to discern, but the sample includes a mixture of organic detritus, filaments resembling the modern day filamentous blue green algae, colonies of algae (spikelets) & spheroids associated with current coccoid blue green algae. These primitive plants gained energy through photosynthesis, releasing free oxygen into the environment as a by product. This had far reaching consequences for the subsequent history of the environment. Mag:X40 (35mm size).
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