Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oldest Non-Geological Structures on Earth Built by Primitive Lifeforms

Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and just a billion years after it took the form of a real planet, structures that resemble upside down egg cartons and broad ice cream cones began to form in the first bodies of water. Some of these formations are still intact today, and geologists have argued and toyed with theories on what formed them.

While it's a typical belief that these formations were the result of primordial geological processes, there's much evidence to suggest they they were the result of organic action, which means they were created by living things - microbes in particular. Such old structures, called stromatolites, have young counterparts with recent ones that are half a billion years old. The evidence for biologic origin takes the form of layers of organic material that is present in the stromatolites.

Theory has it that microbes, likely blue-green algae, create beds on the floors of bodies of water like shallow seas. These beds act to promote deposits of sediments, much like how flypaper collects dust. However, it's been theorized that the microbes grow filaments that catch particles from the water. So it's likely the formations were the result of a play between passive deposition and organic action.

This is an aquarium designed for dinosaur shrimp, otherwise known as triops. They have been in existence on Earth for 350 million years and their eggs, which come with the aquarium package, easily hatch just by adding water! Take a tour far, far back in time with is Star Wars planet Naboo theme aquarium. Click here or on the image to place your order!

No comments: