1.6 Billion-Year-Old Breath Of Life Has Been Found In These Amazing Fossils
We do not get a chance very often to see something that is old for a few billion years. These fossilized remains are discovered in rocks and are developed from microbial mats. About 1.6 billion years ago, they settled in shallow pools.
As you can see, there are holes that were formed as a result of tiny microbes giving off oxygen bubbles. They set the basis for life since Earth began to become very hospitable.
Researchers in Denmark and Sweden conducted a study on the mats, and they say that it is “a signature for life.” According to the researchers, this material teaches us a lot about our distant history.
This type of mats is produced at the intersection of distinct substances like the ocean water, the bottom of the ocean, that are made of the simplest microorganisms and bacteria.
These mats that were revealed in central India, are believed to show bubbles that were created by cyanobacteria which is a specific type of bacterium that creates energy via the process of photosynthesis.
Besides breathing out oxygen, cyanobacteria gives off minerals. So, this combination of minerals and oxygen would have been essential in permitting the flourishment of other life on our planet.
The oxygen would have been used by other organisms such as plants and animals, as researchers explain. The small organisms made even smaller bubbles. Those on the pictures are of 50 to 500 microns. That means they are small as the width of our hair.
Even though they are so small, they can still allow researchers understand the work and spreading of cyanobacteria. Vindhyan Supergroup is one of the most ancient records of the beginning of life, and the cyanobacteria were taken from it.
The researchers write in their study that it points to a setting where cyanobacterial as well as algal photosynthesis dominated the basic production. This study needs to be taken in the context of other studies, but it can reveal a lot.
More precisely, oxygen would have played a big part in the way a rocky and barren planet evolved to support life, especially the Great Oxygenation Event. The oxygen would have killed off microbes that survived without oxygen, but some would have been able to develop and flourish.
This marks the transition of Earth from an inhabited place to the world we know today. The team from Denmark and Sweden explains that the cyanobacteria could have been essential in the production of phosphorite rocks.
Source: Science Alert