Geologi so na Grenlandiji v 3,7 milijard let starih kamninah odkrili dokaze za obstoj preprostih oblik življenja. Ti fosili so za 220 milijonov let starejši od do sedaj najstarejših, ki so jih našli v zahodni Avstraliji. Znanstveniki so o odkritju poročali v reviji Nature: Rapid emergence of life shown by discovery of 3,700-million-year-old microbial structures.

In this week’s Nature, Australian and British researchers report finding layered structures called stromatolites in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks from Greenland. Stromatolites, which look a bit like geological cauliflowers, form when microbes trap sediment and build up layer after dome-shaped layer.

But the discovery involves some of the most physically tortured rocks on Earth, which have been squeezed and heated over billions of years as crustal plates shifted. The pressure and heat recrystallizes the rocks, erasing much of the fine-scale detail that researchers normally use to identify fossilized stromatolites — so the work is already triggering heated debate. (Vir: Claims of Earth’s oldest fossils tantalize researchers : Nature News & Comment)

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