posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 11:08 PM
Fossils unearthed in the Pilbara could trigger a search for ancient life on other planets.
According to a report in The Washington Post yesterday, scientists analysing Australian rocks have discovered traces of bacteria that lived a
record-breaking 3.5 billion years ago – a billion years after the Earth was formed.
Old Dominion University biogeochemist Nora Noffke said the traces of bacteria were the oldest fossils ever described.
“Those are our oldest ancestors," Dr Noffke told a meeting of the Geological Society of America.
The Washington Post that unlike dinosaur bones, the newly identified fossils were not petrified body parts.
They are textures on the surfaces of sandstone thought to be sculpted by once-living organisms, Dr Noffke said.
Similar patterns decorate parts of Tunisia’s coast, created by thick mats of bacteria that trap and glue together sand particles. Sand that is stuck
to the land beneath the mats and thus protected from erosion can over time turn into rock that can long outlast the living organisms above it,
according to The Washington Post article.
The ancient Pilbara region was once shoreline and rocks made from sediment piled up billions of years ago are now exposed and available for
I once lived in a Place called Kununurra for a number of years. It's in the Kimberley region just up from the Pilbara. It too has vast areas of rocky
sedimentry rock. As well as all the great rock art and fantastic surroundings you could climb to the top of these rock outcrops (that was once the sea
bed) and find shells, starfish fossils and large areas of reef and you are 1000's of miles from water let alone the sea!
A truely fantastic area. I knew it would only be a matter of time until they found something really significant!
edit on 1-1-2013 by
CaptainBeno because: Shocking spelling! ouch!