Organic-walled microfossils in 3.2-billion-year-old shallow-marine siliciclastic deposits

  title={Organic-walled microfossils in 3.2-billion-year-old shallow-marine siliciclastic deposits},
  author={Emmanuelle J. Javaux and Craig P. Marshall and Andrey Bekker},
Although the notion of an early origin and diversification of life on Earth during the Archaean eon has received increasing support in geochemical, sedimentological and palaeontological evidence, ambiguities and controversies persist regarding the biogenicity and syngeneity of the record older than Late Archaean. Non-biological processes are known to produce morphologies similar to some microfossils, and hydrothermal fluids have the potential to produce abiotic organic compounds with depleted… Expand
The 2.1 Ga Old Francevillian Biota: Biogenicity, Taphonomy and Biodiversity
Combined microtomography, geochemistry, and sedimentary analysis suggest a biota fossilized during early diagenesis follows a rise in atmospheric oxygen, consistent with the idea that surface oxygenation allowed the evolution and ecological expansion of complex megascopic life. Expand
Palaeoproterozoic Stromatolites from the Lomagundi-Jatuli Interval of the Fennoscandian Shield
When and how life on Earth started is still an open question. Biochemical fingerprints stored in the ancient rock record indicate the presence of traces of life back to some of the oldest sedimentaryExpand
Microfossils with tail-like structures in the 3.4 Gyr old Strelley Pool Formation
Abstract Some of the oldest traces for planktonic lifestyle have been reported in ca. 3.4 billion years old silicified sediments from the Strelley Pool Formation in Western Australia. Observation ofExpand
The Paleoproterozoic fossil record: Implications for the evolution of the biosphere during Earth's middle-age
Abstract The Paleoproterozoic (2.5–1.6 Ga) Era is a decisive time in Earth and life history. The paleobiological record (microfossils, stromatolites, biomarkers and isotopes) illustrates theExpand
The biostratigraphic conundrum of Siberia: Do true Tonian–Cryogenian microfossils occur in Mesoproterozoic rocks?
Abstract Abundant and diverse microfossils from shales of the ∼1500-Ma-old Ust’-Il’ya Formation in northern Siberia document early Mesoproterozoic life along the Siberian Platform. Similar to manyExpand
The palaeobiology and geochemistry of Precambrian hydrocarbon source rocks
Abstract Organic carbon productivity and formation of hydrocarbon source rocks during the Early Precambrian was almost exclusively the product of the growth of microbial mats. Indirect evidence ofExpand
Large and robust lenticular microorganisms on the young Earth
Abstract In recent years, remarkable organic microfossils have been reported from Archean deposits in the Pilbara craton of Australia. The structures are set apart from other ancient microfossils byExpand
Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures in Clastic Deposits: Implication for the Prospection for Fossil Life on Mars
A perspective on selected deposits and ancient environments in Meridiani Planum, Gale Crater, and Jezero Crater. Expand
Carbon isotopic analyses of ca. 3.0 Ga microstructures imply planktonic autotrophs inhabited Earth’s early oceans
The ca. 3 Ga Farrel Quartzite (FQ, Western Australia) contains possible organic microfossils of unusual spindle-like morphology that are surprisingly large and complex, preserved along withExpand
Microbial-mat-associated tephra of the Archean Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa: Resemblance to potential biostructures and ecological implications
Documenting evidence of fossil microbial life on early Earth is made difficult by the paucity of suitable Archean sedimentary rocks, their common metamorphic overprint, the small outcrop areas, andExpand


Paleobiology of the Neoproterozoic Svanbergfjellet Formation, Spitsbergen
A review of Proterozoic multicellular organisms reveals that a coenocytic grade of organization was common among early metaphytes and supports the view (that a cellularity is a derived condition in many ‘multicellular’ lineages). Expand
A new window into Early Archean life: Microbial mats in Earth's oldest siliciclastic tidal deposits (3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa)
Newly discovered sedimentary structures produced by ancient microbial mats in Early Archean sandstones of the 3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa, differ fundamentally in appearance and genesis fromExpand
Photosynthetic microbial mats in the 3,416-Myr-old ocean
It is concluded that photosynthetic organisms had evolved and were living in a stratified ocean supersaturated in dissolved silica 3,416 Myr ago. Expand
An actualistic perspective into Archean worlds - (cyano-)bacterially induced sedimentary structures in the siliciclastic Nhlazatse Section, 2.9 Ga Pongola Supergroup, South Africa.
A study location is described that displays a unique assemblage with a multitude of exceptionally preserved MISS in the 2.9-Ga-old Pongola Supergroup, South Africa, which is consistent with similar features constructed today by benthic cyanobacteria. Expand
Microfossils and possible microfossils from the Early Archean Onverwacht Group, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa.
  • M. Walsh
  • Geology, Medicine
  • Precambrian research
  • 1992
A variety of spheroidal and ellipsoidal structures present in cherts of the Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations resemble modern coccoidal bacteria and bacterial structures, including spores. Expand
Carbonaceous cherts of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Isotopic, chemical and structural characteristics of individual microstructures
Abstract Carbonaceous matter occurring in chert deposits of the 3.4–3.2 Ga old Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, has experienced low grade regional metamorphism and variable degrees ofExpand
A fresh look at the fossil evidence for early Archaean cellular life
The rock record provides unique evidence for testing models as to when and where cellular life first appeared on Earth, but its study, however, requires caution and critical analysis of morphospace and context is needed. Expand
The Proterozoic biosphere : a multidisciplinary study
List of contributors Preface Part I: 1. Geology and paleobiology of the Archean Earth 2. Geological evolution of the Proterozoic Earth 3. Proterozoic biochemistry 4. Proterozoic atmosphere and oceanExpand
Diverse microstructures from Archaean chert from the Mount Goldsworthy–Mount Grant area, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia: Microfossils, dubiofossils, or pseudofossils?
Abstract A diverse assemblage of indigenous carbonaceous microstructures, classified here as highly probable microfossils to pseudomicrofossils, is present in the >ca. 2.97 Ga Farrel Quartzite (GorgeExpand
Structured organic remains from the Fig Tree Series (Precambrian) of the Barberton mountain land (South Africa)
Abstract The Fig Tree Series of the Swaziland System in South Africa is, according to radiometric data, more than 3,200 million years old. Cherts and shales, collected in the vicinity of the ShebaExpand