3.4" Polished Stromatolite (Gongylina) Section - 1.88 Billion Years

This is a beautiful polished section of Paleoproterozoic stromatolites (Gongylina sp.) that was collected from a small island at the northeast end of Blanchet Island, within the Northwest Territories of Canada. These precambrian stromatolites have been dated at roughly 1.88 million years old. The specimen has been polished to a glossy finish on one side and left rough on the other.

Stromatolites are the layered trace fossils of microbial life, primarily cyanobacteria. Some of them date back an astounding 3.4 billion years, making them the oldest record of life on Earth! Stromatolites and Microbialites were typically formed in shallow water by the growth of layer upon layer of cyanobacteria, a single-celled, photosynthesizing microbe. These layers often form very beautiful and colorful banded structures in the rock.

These oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were so simple they lacked a DNA-packaging nucleus, but were responsible for possibly the largest changes the earth has undergone. They were the only major source of atmospheric oxygen critical for the development of more complex life.
Gongylina sp.
NE of Blanchet Island, NWT, Canada
Utsingi Formation
3.4 x 2.1", .95" thick
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