Polished, 4.4" Fossil Stromatolite Colony on Reed - Utah

This is a fascinating 4.4" wide fossil end-cut that features stromatolite colonies that formed around an unidentified plant. This specimen came from a collection that was gathered in the 1980s and 1990s, however, much of the information regarding the specific locality of extraction has been lost over the years. What is known about this specimen is that it was found at Old Lake Uintah of Carbon County, Utah.

Based on information provided by stromatolite experts, the colonies are believed to be oncolytic stromatolites. Oncolytic stromatolites are spherical in formation, typically forming around a solid "nucleus" like a rock, grain of sand, or in this instance, a plant. It's speculated that the concentric-ringed plant that acted as the nucleus for this stromatolite formation was likely a reed or fern.

This specimen has been cut and polished to a mirror-like finish on one side. It comes with an acrylic display stand. There is a repaired crack through this slab.

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 Reed
Old Lake Uintah, Carbon County, Utah
4.4 x 4.3"
We guarantee the authenticity of all of our
specimens. Read more about our
Authenticity Guarantee.