Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life

  title={Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life},
  author={J. William Schopf},
  pages={640 - 646}
  • J. Schopf
  • Published 30 April 1993
  • Environmental Science
  • Science
Eleven taxa (including eight heretofore undescribed species) of cellularly preserved filamentous microbes, among the oldest fossils known, have been discovered in a bedded chert unit of the Early Archean Apex Basalt of northwestern Western Australia. This prokaryotic assemblage establishes that trichomic cyanobacterium-like microorganisms were extant and morphologically diverse at least as early as ∼3465 million years ago and suggests that oxygen-producing photoautotrophy may have already… 
Archean molecular fossils and the early rise of eukaryotes.
The presence of steranes, particularly cholestane and its 28- to 30-carbon analogs, provides persuasive evidence for the existence of eukaryotes 500 million to 1 billion years before the extant fossil record indicates that the lineage arose.
Life on the Early Earth: A Sedimentary View
In her Perspective, Westall discusses the pressing questions that still need to be answered, which include how to distinguish between biogenic (life) and abiogenic (nonlife) signatures left behind in the sediments harboring microfossils.
Taphonomy in Temporally Unique Settings: An Environmental Traverse in Search of the Earliest Life on Earth
There is an apparent preservational paradox in the early rock record. Cellularly preserved and ensheathed microfossils which are remarkably preserved from the late Archaean (c.2700 Ma) onward, have
Early Precambrian pillow lavas as habitat for microfossils
Complexes of fossilized microorganisms were identified and studied in the rocks of the Lower Paleoproterozoic Suisarian Formation representing the stratotype of the Ludicovian Supergroup, Karelian
Biogenicity of Earth’s Earliest Fossils
The abundant and diverse assemblage of filamentous microbial fossils and associated organic matter permineralized in the ~ 3465 Ma Apex chert of northwestern Australia—widely regarded as among the
Archean Fossil Microorganisms
The article discusses materials on the Archean (4.0–2.5 Ga) microfossils of the Earth (Greenland, Australia, South Africa, and Fennoscandian Shield). The main emphasis is on the description of the
Early proterozoic pillow lavas of Suisari as habitats of the earliest microorganisms
Assemblages of fossilized microorganisms from the Paleoproterozoic Suisarian Formation (Ludicovian stratotype of the Karelian Complex) of central Karelia are recognized and investigated. Fossil


Stromatolites 3,400-Myr old from the Archean of Western Australia
  • D. Lowe
  • Environmental Science, Geology
  • 1980
Internally laminated conical mounds characterise a regionally extensive chert unit near the top of the 3,400-Myr old Warrawoona Group in the Pilbara Block of Western Australia. The chert formed by
Early Archean (3.3-billion to 3.5-billion-year-old) microfossils from Warrawoona Group, Australia.
Cellularly preserved filamentous and colonial fossil microorganisms have been discovered in bedded carbonaceous cherts from the Early Archean Apex Basalt and Towers Formation of northwestern Western
Microflora of the Bitter Springs Formation, late Precambrian, central Australia
Thirty new species, representing 24 new genera, of green algae, blue-green algae, colonial bacteria, fungus-like filaments, and possible pyrrophytes, are described from the bedded carbonaceous cherts
Microorganisms Three Billion Years Old from the Precambrian of South Africa
A minute, bacterium-like, rod-shaped organism, Eobacterium isolatum, has been found organically and structurally preserved in black chert from the Fig Tree Series of South Africa, and these organic remnants comprise the oldest known evidence of biological organization in the geologic record.
Microfossil recognition in Archean rocks : an appraisal of spheroids and filaments from a 3500 M.Y. old chert-barite unit at North Pole, Western Australia
Except in exceptional circumstances, real Archean microfossils should occur in thin sections of low-grade rocks of sedimentary origin, consist of kerogen, exceed the minimum size for independently
Filamentous microfossils from the 3,500-Myr-old Onverwacht Group, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa
The Swaziland Supergroup, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa, has long been regarded as a promising location for the Earth's oldest fossils because it includes some of the most ancient
Significance of the Gunflint (Precambrian) Microflora
  • P. Cloud
  • Environmental Science
  • 1965
Several categories of biological microstructures 1.9� billion years old are here described, illustrated, and referred to a group of early thallophytes that includes the thread bacteria and the
Stromatolites 3,400–3,500 Myr old from the North Pole area, Western Australia
Stromatolites are the least controversial evidence of early life; they are organosedimentary structures resulting from the growth and metabolic activity of microorganisms1. Before this report,