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Stromatolithe

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13282000Stromatoliths (from Greek -stroma, meaning « mattress », and -lithos, meaning « stone ») are geological structures formed by the biological activity of microorganisms. Stromatoliths (from Greek -stroma, meaning « mattress », and -lithos, meaning « stone ») are...Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2011.12.61_b.jpg?itok=xdZst11vLe Havre Museum of Natural History - Photo Christophe Livonnen

Stromatolith

 

  • Collector/Donor : Le Havre Museum of Natural History

  • Period :  Cambrian (510 million years BCE)

  • Origin : Carteret, Manche

  • Dimensions : 12 cm x 8 cm

Stromatoliths (from Greek -stroma, meaning « mattress », and -lithos, meaning « stone ») are geological structures formed by the biological activity of microorganisms. They are often found in  spherical forms which are composed of thin limestone sheets. Stromatoliths often result from the fossilisation of cyanobacteria. These bacteria grow together in colonies using photosynthesis. The oldest stromatolith specimens found date back to 3.4 billion years BCE and are amongst the first organisms to have lived on Earth. It is commonly thought that cyanobacteria are at the origin of the dioxygen in the atmosphere of the Earth.

This specimen is a stromatolith which was sawed and polished in order to study its internal structure. It was found in Carteret, which proves that this part of Cotentin was covered by a fairly shallow and warm sea 500 million years BCE.

Cyanobacteria colonies still form stromatolith reefs today. For example, they can be seen in Yalgorup National Park, in Australia.

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