Start Stromatolite fossil dating

Stromatolite fossil dating

Before this fossil was discovered, the oldest known evidence for life were 3.48 billion-year-old fossil stromatolites found in the Pilbara region in Western Australia."The significance of stromatolites is that not only do they provide obvious evidence of ancient life that is visible with the naked eye, but that they are complex ecosystems," said lead researcher Allen Nutman from the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Instead, major limestone deposits of the time were formed by calcite-producing organisms such as larger foraminifera (including the limestones from which the Egyptian pyramids were later to be built) and red coralline algae.

Calcite is less stable over time than aragonite, but can form in waters of higher CO concentrations were falling and sea water was warming in tropical areas, whereas at high-latitudes it became cooler.

This strongly indicated that simple life had to have started in the hundreds of million years prior to cyanobacteria .

Seemingly, simple life-forms left no fossils or other evidence on the Earth today.

Bioherms, biogenic reefs constructed from limestone produced by shelled animals, became prominent by 570 million years ago.

During the mid-Triassic, the Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods (roughly 200–100 million years ago), scleractinian corals had become significant components of coral–algal–sponge bioherms.

The cyanobacteria have been tremendously important in shaping the environment and the course of evolution throughout Earth's history.