3.5 billion-year-old rock structures are one of the oldest signs of life on Earth

I note this from the article. "The evidence that the Dresser Formation stromatolites are signs of ancient life doesn't make them the oldest life on the planet(opens in new tab). That (possible) honor may go to stromatolites found in 3.7 billion-year-old rock in Greenland(opens in new tab), or possibly to microfossils from Canada that might be as old as 4.29 billion years(opens in new tab). It's very difficult to distinguish biological life from non-organic processes in these very old rocks, however, so these finds and others from a similar timeframe are controversial. Based on the minerals in the stromatolites, the Western Australia microbial mats probably formed in a shallow lagoon fed by hydrothermal vents that was also connected to the ocean, the researchers reported Nov. 4 in the journal Geology."

The Precambrian timeline presented runs into the Faint Young Sun problem and giant impact for the origin of the Moon too like the lunar magma ocean, as well as a more intense bombardment period. It would be interesting to see if other ages were obtained too for the strata using other and different age dating methods. For example, I am aware that different isotope series used to date different strata in the Grand Canyon can report some very different ages :)


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