Pilbara home to 3.5b y-o bacterial ecosystem

A complex microbial ecosystem existed in Western Australia’s Pilbara region at least 3.5 billion years ago.

Researchers found well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence. Part of the findings was a phenomenon called microbially induced sedimentary structures, or MISS, which had not previously been seen in rocks of this age.

The research extended the geological record of MISS by almost 300 million years and the findings could be significant for studies of life elsewhere in our solar system. MISS are among the targets of Mars rovers, which search for biological signals on that planet’s surface.

Read more at University of Western Australia