World's Oldest Fossils Found In Canada

World's Oldest Fossils Found In Canada

Scientists studying ancient rock formations in Quebec have identified microscopic structures in the rock that they believe are the fossilized remains of microorganisms that lived on Earth between 3.7 and 4.28 billion years ago.

Encased in quartz layers, scientists found tiny filaments and tubes measuring half the width of a human hair, which were supposedly formed by bacteria that lived on iron.

Now, a team led by geochemist Dominic Papineau of University College London and his Ph.D. student Matthew Dodd says it has found clear evidence of such ancient vent life. Dominic Papineau Papineau hopes that the whole scientific community will accept their findings and will prove it true. She said, however, that it may be a challenge proving the origins of the fossils were biological.

Tiny granules that might have formed when these organic life-forms decayed and reacted with seafloor minerals also point to life, as similar granules are found around more modern fossils, such as those of ammonites, Dodd said. The Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt is some of the oldest sedimentary rock on the planet-it is between 3.7 billion and 4.29 billion years old.

If the researchers are right about what they've found, this would be the oldest direct evidence of life we've ever seen.

Prior to the new discovery, researchers had previously found the earliest forms of life on Earth in microfossils spotted in Western Australia in 2013.

"At this time in the evolution of the solar system, we also think that Mars had liquid oceans at its surface, which strongly suggests that we should have had life evolve on Mars as well", Dodd says.

To uncover the fossils, we cut slices of the rocks so thin you could see through them and study them with a microscope. But as CNN notes, there has been some debate regarding the legitimacy of the Australian discovery - there's a chance that they may not actually have been fossils, but rather the result of temperature or pressure changes in rocks over a long period of time, or similarly non-biological processes.




"Within the last 15, 20 years, we have more and more evidence that that's not the case", he said.

A patch of iron-rich rock found in northwestern Canada that contains the oldest evidence of life on Earth.

No one knows how life on earth began but there are multiple theories, one of which revolves around the idea that ancient deep-sea hydrothermal vents might have been one of the earliest places to support ancient life. The latter are found near vents that also have graphite and apatite not to mention carbonate in them. Furthermore, the 3.7-billion-year-old fossils found in Greenland could have gotten their intriguing chemical signature from a nonbiological process, according to the new study, which was published today (March 1) in the journal Nature. They say the structures they found are frequently associated with fossils formed by bacteria oxidizing iron for energy.

"Therefore, we expect to find evidence for past life on Mars 4,000m years ago or, if not, Earth may have been a special exception", he said.

This find, like other claims of early life on Earth, is not without controversy.

Together, this evidence very clearly demonstrates a strong biological presence in the 3,770m- to 4,280m-year-old rocks, pushing back the date of the earliest known microfossils by 300m years. "These pathways are, I think, a little bit too complex to have arisen so early and have resisted space and then seeded Earth".

"Depending on how the age controversy of these rocks plays out, we may have very different question and answer to where the origin of life may have been on earth", Dodd says.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dow Jones Hits Record 21000 as Wall Street Cheers Trump's Speech
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:14
The dollar jumped 0.79 per cent to mark its biggest one-day gain since December 15, while gold prices fell. The Dow soared 200 points and topped the 21,000 level for the first time ever on Wednesday morning.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kazakhstan over fulfills obligations on oil output cut
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:11
Crude oil imports rose 303,000 b/d to 7.589 million b/d, while exports fell from a record 1.211 million b/d to 721,000 b/d. This compares to output of more than 11.2 million bpd in October a year ago , taken as the baseline for the global deal.

David Haye: I'm that Gennady Golovkin type puncher
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:11
He wrote: "For Haye to post this and not realise how offensive and outdated his words are says everything". I think the important thing here is that Haye finds himself in the position of being the bigger man.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New Facebook video app is launched on Samsung smart TVs
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:10
To start, Facebook promised to rollout the app for Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, with " more platforms" to come. When you are watching a live stream, you can automatically see the live comments to the video on the bottom left of the display.

Hugh Jackman remembers two decades of Wolverine
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:09
Jackman's next role is one his schoolmates would have pegged as more his speed: The notable song-and-dance man is filming P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman (in theaters December 25), and his 11-year-old daughter Ava is jazzed.

Trump Signs Executive Order Directing EPA to Reconsider Obama Water Rule
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:09
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump brought a relatively obscure but important water rule to national attention. For the past several years, most ag commodity groups have been actively opposed to the EPA's Water of The U.S.

Browns Listening To Offers For First Overall Pick
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:09
The Browns will have that opportunity with players across all positions this week as they fine-tune their draft board. It was his first season as a receiver; he had entered the National Football League as a quarterback in 2011.

Spotify Moves On Hi-Res Streaming
Mar 03, 2017 - 01:06
As the below image shows, some of the ads indicate Hi-Fi will also include a free vinyl record and discounts on vinyl purchases. Spotify is reportedly working hard on providing high fidelity music for its subscribers and is now studying the pricing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tupac Shakur's auto and its bullet holes to sell for $1.5million
Mar 02, 2017 - 03:17
As reported, the auto has had several owners since Tupac's untimely death, even racking up more than 90K miles over the years. According to a report published on DailyMail , the vehicle is set to be sold off for a whooping $1.5million (N472.1 million).

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bengal BJP Leader Accused of Child Trafficking Arrested Near Nepal Border
Mar 02, 2017 - 00:52
Chowdhury's arrest is the fourth in the case that involved selling of no less than 17 babies across the country. She has been dragged into the case as she went to Delhi with her (Chakraborty). "We are innocent.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Best Buy shares tumble 8 percent as revenue, outlook fall short
Mar 02, 2017 - 00:49
For the current quarter ending in May, Best Buy expects its per-share earnings to range from 35 cents to 40 cents. The retailer reported a 0.9 percent decline in U.S. same-store sales versus an expected increase 0.4 percent.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NFL Scouting Combine Preview, Where To Watch
Mar 02, 2017 - 00:49
The early part of their trip is filled with medical and psychological testing, along with team meetings and media availability. As fans, the National Football League gives us an interesting, though only partial, view into everything that goes on there.

SA Xenophobic attacks: Ghanaians rescued, Nigerians deported, Congolese warned
Mar 02, 2017 - 00:47
The delegates will deliberate with their South African counterpart on ways to stop the attacks on Nigerians. Over 500 Nigerians have been deported in the past one month from the United Kingdom, Libya and Mali.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top LG to debut its own virtual reality SteamVR headset at GDC 2017
Mar 02, 2017 - 00:46
And, like we said, it will be based around the SteamVR system, which was opened to developers and manufacturers a year ago . Also, LG has experimented with VR in the past - like when it launched the 360 VR headset for LG G5 flagship.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top David Parry belligerent in golf cart theft
Mar 01, 2017 - 00:43
Police had to remove a brace on his left wrist, on which Parry had previously had surgery to fit the cuffs. Parry antagonized the officers, using gay slurs and calling them "fat f--s", according to officers.