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Oldest Fossil of the Earth from 3.5 Billion Years Ago Discovered in Australia

Jan 3, 2013 10:18 IST

Top Picks :  January 2013 Current Affairs , News Capsule , Inventions | Discoveries , 2013 Current Affairs

Scientists while analysing the Australian rocks claimed that they discovered certain traces of bacteria in Western Australia's Pilbara region, which lived a record-breaking 3.49 billion years ago. The biochemist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Nora Noffke described that the traces of bacteria are among the oldest fossils ever found and therefore they are said to be the oldest ancestors of humans.

In case these fossils are actually so old, then it could assist the scientists in understanding about initial phases of life on this planet. The discovery is also helpful in stimulating the search for the ancient life that exists on other planets apart from Earth.

These newly-discovered fossils are not the horrified body parts, unlike those of dinosaurs’ bones. They actually appear like the textures on surface of the sandstone which is believed to be sculpted by the living organisms that existed during that time. These fossils were discovered in the sandstone at bottom of Strelley Pool rock formation in the Western Australia.

During the analysis, the carbon which created the textured rocks was measured. Around 99 percent of the carbon which is found in non-living things is called carbon-12, which is actually the lighter version of element in comparison to carbon-13, which forms the remaining 1 percent.

Microbes which make use of the process of photosynthesis for making their food comprise of even more carbon-12 and less quantity of carbon-13. This predisposition was evident on that Australian rock from which fossils were discovered.

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