Here's the Oldest Evidence Of Life On Earth: A 3.5-Billion-Year-Old Fossil

Khryss | Published 2018-01-09 10:11

"People are really interested in when life on Earth first emerged," John Valley from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, one of the study’s co-authors, said in a statement.

"I think a lot more microfossil analyses will be made on samples of Earth and possibly from other planetary bodies."

Looking closely into microfossils known as Apex fossils that were collected back in 1982 in Western Australia, researchers utilized a "secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) to separate the carbon composing each fossil from its constituent isotopes. They then measured the ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-13, and found it to be consistent with biological and metabolic function." 11 microbial specimens from five separate taxa (organisms) were found.

“I think it’s settled,” Valley said, confirming that these microfossils are indeed biological and is now the oldest confirmed life on Earth. It isn't certain, though, what kind of organism such was but one thing for sure, it is a product of a diverse group of organisms that relied on the Sun for energy.

This finding implies that life can actually form even in difficult conditions like in other planters. Some even claim that the Young Earth don't have oxygen and it was only about 800 million years ago when photosynthetic life we all know and live with oxygenated the atmosphere. This then allowed complex life to form and thrive.

Moreover, this suggest that perhaps Earth, thought to form 4.5 billion years ago, didn’t actually take long at all to become habitable.

"We have no direct evidence that life existed 4.3 billion years ago but there is no reason why it couldn't have," said Valley. "This is something we all would like to find out."

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