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Image of Messinian stromatolites fossils

Image of Messinian stromatolites fossils

E442/0324

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Credit

JON WILSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JON WILSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Messinian stromatolite fossil. Stromatolites are large, stony, cushion-like masses, composed of numerous layers of fossilised cyanobacteria (blue- green algae), which have been preserved due to their ability to secrete calcium carbonate. They are among the oldest organic remains to have been found, the oldest structures dating from over 3000 million years ago. Stromatolite formation reached a peak during the late Precambrian period, but is still occuring today. Present-day formations can be seen in the Everglades, Florida, USA, and in Shark Bay, Australia. This image was taken at El Joyazo, Nijar, Almeria, Spain.

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