Andrew Czaja, UC assistant professor of geology explains that these will now officially take the record of being the “oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria to date,”
“This discovery is helping us reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution.” explains Czaja.
Czaja has published his findings in the scientific journal Geology along with fellow colleagues Nicolas Beukes from the University of Johannesburg and Jeffrey Osterhout, a recently graduated master’s student from UC’s department of geology.
To put this discovery into some context many scientists believe that organisms did exist on a pre-oxygen Earth but until now there has been no clear evidence to support it.
“These bacteria existed two billion years before plants and trees, which evolved about 450 million years ago. We discovered these microfossils preserved in a layer of hard silica-rich rock called chert located within the Kaapvaal craton of South Africa.” explains Czaja.
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/11/30/researchers-have-discovered-animals-on-earth-that-pre-date-oxygen_n_13323974.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech&ir=UK+Tech