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Stromatolites: The Building Blocks of Life

ISSN NO: 2347884-5

Vol NO: 19, Issue 25-26 No. 136-137

The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth are about 3.9 billion years old. If one was to investigate the earliest evidences of life on the earth, these would be a place to start. Although such rocks have undergone multiple cycles of transformation through tectonism and metamorphism and no longer contain evidences of early life forms—some from the carbonate sequences deposited in tidal regions between 3900 to 541 million years ago (mya) present peculiar or bizarre natural geological structures which appear to be intricately carved and exposed to the surface of the earth. These are stromatolites.

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Author: Mukund Sharma

Stromatolites record the evolutionary signature of earliest life forms on Earth. The prolific growth of stromatolites found in carbonate rocks were deposited between 3900 and 541 million years ago. The cyanobacteria, responsible for the formation of stromatolites obtained their




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    Author: Mukund Sharma

    Stromatolites record the evolutionary signature of earliest life forms on Earth. The prolific growth of stromatolites found in carbonate rocks were deposited between 3900 and 541 million years ago. The cyanobacteria, responsible for the formation of stromatolites obtained their energy through photosynthesis, thus utilising carbon dioxide from water and rocks—liberating large quantities of oxygen in return. India, fortunately, has extensive stromatolites deposits in the limestone and phosphate facies providing a natural laboratory for the study of the history of earth and it’s evolving environment.

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    The author is Senior Scientist with Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences,Lucknow. mukund sharma@bsip.res.in. The article should be cited as Sharma M. 2019, Stromatolites: The Building Blocks of Life, Geography and You, 19(25 & 26): 16-25

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