Sunday, July 06, 2008

New interesting fossil find

I came across this ScienceDaily article

Two-ton, 500 Million-year-old Fossil Of Stromatolite Discovered In Virginia, U.S.

My first thought was, "wow, two tons", that's a big fossil. My second thought was, "what the hell is a Stromatolite?".

Luckily the article explains that.

Stromatolites are among the earliest known life forms, and are important in helping scientists understand more about environments that existed in the past.

A stromatolite is a mound produced in shallow water by mats of algae that trap mud and sand particles. Another mat grows on the trapped sediment layer and this traps another layer of sediment, growing gradually over time. Stromatolites can grow to heights of a meter or more. They are uncommon today but their fossils are among the earliest evidence for living things.

The fossil is apparently in a rare good condition, so this find is quite exciting.

There is a bit more over at the Virginia Museum of Natural History



Blogger The Flying Trilobite said...

What a great non-traditional name for a child.

"Stromatolite K. Wager! You stop pulling your sister's hair right now!"

July 07, 2008 11:47 AM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Heh. Don't think that name will fly in Denmark (where there actually are rules on what you can name your child)

July 07, 2008 6:11 PM  
Anonymous bacteriocentric said...

Not as old and heavy as the previous 3 billion plus year old stromatilites found elsewhere in the world, but at least it proves that all stromatilites aren't all the same age, and are one of the oldest life forms, (living fossils) that still exist today. Very cool!

July 28, 2008 6:14 PM  

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