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Stromatolites | What Exactly are They?

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Stromatolites | Very Common 3.5 Billion Years Ago

Stromatolites are sedimentary rock-like structures that formed in shallow waters.  They formed through the build up of bacteria and algae.  The bacteria in stromatolites started the process that boosted oxygen in the atmosphere and increased it from less than 1% to more than 20%.  The word stromatolite comes from the Greek word for 'layered rock'. 

Stromatolites which are the oldest fossil record of life on Earth were common along shorelines around the world about 3.5 billion years ago.  They were the earliest proof that life existed on Earth.  The oldest stromatolites can be found in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and are believed to be approximately 3.7 billion years old.



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