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View Full Version : 3.7-billion-year-old fossils may be oldest signs of life on Earth



PLogan
08-31-2016, 09:34 PM
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2016/08/31/billion-year-old-fossils-may-oldest-signs-life-earth/cOEznVuBCVm3cSZFh9lb9J/story.html


WASHINGTON — Scientists probing a newly exposed, formerly snow-covered outcropping in Greenland claim they have discovered the oldest fossils ever seen, the remnants of microbial mats that lived 3.7 billion years ago.

It’s a stunning announcement in a scientific field that is always contentious. But if confirmed, this would push the established fossil record more than 200 million years deeper into the Earth’s early history, and provide support for the view that life appeared very soon after the Earth formed and may be commonplace throughout the universe.

A team of Australian geologists announced their discovery in a paper titled “Rapid emergence of life shown by discovery of 3,700-million-year-old microbial structures,” published Wednesday in Nature.