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Fossilised stromatolite

Fossilised stromatolite

E442/0659

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY 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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