Scientists have found fossils dating back to as early as 4.28 billion years in Canadian rocks and calls it to be of some of the earliest living organisms on our planet. Those are comprised of tiny tubes and filaments that is made of an iron oxide known as haematite.
It is considered to be offering the oldest direct evidence for life on Earth and are believed to be the remains of bateria that thrived underwater around hydrothermal vents then. Those bacteria around that time relied on chemical reactions for energy and it involved reations of iron too.
Mathew Dodd, the first author of the research from University College, London, said the oceans on Earth were formed about 4.4 billion years ago and the fossils reveals life started developing very soon thereafter.
Dodd added, “These rocks were of a period in time when we don’t know whether there was life.”
Lead author Dominic Papineau said even today iron-oxidizing bacteria are present and the new discovery highlight the success of such organisms.
Papneau too is from University College, London.
The researchers add life emerged and diversified rapidly on Earth.
The previously discovered oldest microfossiles from western Australia are learned to date back to about 3.46 billion years ago.
Details of the new discovery have been published in the Nature journal. The study was conducted by international team of researchers focusing on rocks of the Nuvvuagittuq supracrustal belt in Quebec, Canada.