5.1" Polished Cretaceous Stromatolite Fossil - Western Australia

This is a stromatolite fossil that was collected from the Parda Formation in Cape Missiessy, Western Australia. It is Early Cretaceous in age (Aptian Age), or approximately 15.10 million years old. It has been cut flat on both sides and polished to a glossy-finish on one.

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.

Unidentified Stromatolite
Cape Missiessy, 80 Mile Beach, Western Australia
Parda Formation
5.1 x 2.7", .3" thick
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