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Primitive plant fossils

Primitive plant fossils

E440/0059

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Credit

SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption

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. 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:X400 (35mm size).

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