9" Polished Stromatolite (Alcheringa) Slab - 2.7 Billion Years

This is a beautiful, thick polished slab of Archean stromatolites (Alcheringa narrina) that was collected from Bea Bea Creek in Pilbara, Australia. These Archean stromatolites have been dated at roughly 2.7 billion years old. Cubic pyrite crystal formations can be found peppered throughout the slab. The slab has been polished to a mirror finish and comes with an acrylic display stand.

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 planet 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 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.

The mineral pyrite or iron pyrite is commonly referred to as Fool's Gold because its metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold. In the old mining days, pyrite was sometimes mistaken for gold. Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals with the chemical formula FeS2. Pyrite crystals occur in many shapes and habits, including cubes of all sizes, penetration twin cubes, pyritohedral clusters and as small druzy crystals that can exhibit a beautiful glistening effect.
Alcheringa narrina
Bea Bea Creek, Pilbara, Western Australia
Tumbiana Formation
9 x 7.5", .4" thick
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