Life’s early traces

New finds help push microbe origins beyond 3.5 billion years ago

By Meghan Rosen, 18:06 PM January 23, 2014

Western Australia’s Pilbara region isn’t known for its hospitality to life. Dry creek beds carve paths through dusty red earth, and razor-sharp grasses cover the area’s low hills. In this place with record-setting heat and months of minimal rainfall, hardy plants and animals eke out an existence.

But the Pilbara may have been prime real estate for the planet’s earliest complex life-forms. In the region’s 3.5-billion-year-old rocks, geobiologist Nora Noffke has found tiny, subtle patterns that ...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/life’s-early-traces