One of the oldest fossils of a living organism has been dated as being 3 and a half billion years old. The fossil contains evidence of microbes that are some of the oldest living things ever studied by scientists.
One of the oldest fossils of a living organism was recently found in Australia by researchers from Old Dominion University in Virginia and the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C.
Scientific analysis shows the microbe fossils are around 3 and a half billion years old, making them “one of the, or the, oldest fossils ever found.”
Researchers who found the fossils say that they noticed a textured pattern on the surface of rocks that proved to be evidence of an ancient microbial colony.
Experts are not in agreement about how life began on Earth, but discoveries like these fossils might help them understand the different kinds of early life that existed billions of years ago on our planet.
Earlier evidence of ancient microbial life shows that they survived by chemically modifying minerals like iron and sulfur from rocks.
But the microbe fossils found in rocks near the Dresser Formation in Australia show that about one billion years after experts believe the Earth formed, there were organisms using photosynthesis to convert sunlight to food.
This might mean that bacterial organisms evolved earlier than experts had previously theorized.