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These 2.5-billion-year-old bacteria predate the rise of oxygen on Earth

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:23 PM | Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | (url: http://geology.gs...)

Fossilised bacteria have been uncovered in two separate locations in South Africa, and theyve been dated to 2.52 billion years ago - long before oxygen started to saturate Earths atmosphere.

Instead of thriving in oxygen, like the trees and multicellular organisms that came after them did, these bacteria oxidised sulphur to survive, suggesting that life could be sustained on a planet with less than one-thousandth of a percent of Earths current oxygen levels.

The fossils were uncovered in a layer of hard, silica-rich rock in the Kaapvaal Craton of the Limpopo Province in South Africa - one of the two remaining areas in the world where Earths crust from 3.6 to 2.5 million years ago is still accessible.

The sulphur-oxidising bacteria they revealed were "exceptionally large", according to the University of Cincinnati team that uncovered them, indicating that these life forms had no problem living in the absence of oxygen.

"These are the oldest reported fossil sulphur bacteria to date," says one of the researchers, Andrew Czaja.

"And this discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution."

Category: Politics | 15 Comments
Tags: science

11-29-16 - 10:40 PM
11-29-16 - 11:42 PM
11-29-16 - 11:44 PM
does that mean they're rust proof?
11-30-16 - 12:01 AM
Look at all those words I did not read.
11-30-16 - 12:12 AM
thats cool I wonder what bacteria fossils look like
11-30-16 - 12:18 AM
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11-30-16 - 02:41 AM
11-30-16 - 03:07 AM
Organisms can live on sulphur

Renaissance hell is a brimstone filled world

Ipso facto god brought oxygen via light

11-30-16 - 04:08 AM
Originally posted by ArakAtak  
11-30-16 - 06:31 AM
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11-30-16 - 06:38 AM
:lol: Earth is only 6 thousand years old... (right?) That's what she said...
11-30-16 - 08:56 AM
Are they cool with all us illegal immigrants or, do they want us all to gtfo?
11-30-16 - 10:23 AM
Originally posted by ArakAtak  

11-30-16 - 12:29 PM
*oxygen* Dude, you're early
11-30-16 - 09:19 PM
Thread Delivers

interesting facts
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