At www.astronomy.com/news/2017/12/oldest-fossil-ever-found# … complex microbes found in rocks dated as early as 3.5 billion years ago imply life on earth began and evolved more quickly than mainstream has previously allowed. The rock concerned comes from western Australia – eleven complex microbes of five distinct species. Does this suggest life in the universe is much more common than thought? If life was divisive 3.5 billion years ago it must have formed somewhat earlier.
This brings us to another tale at http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/stromatolites-defy-odd… … fossils from 3.7 billion years ago consist of films of bacteria that trapped tiny particles of rock and then went on to fashion them into stone pillows or microbial confections known as stromatolites. They came to occupy all the floors of shallow seas, we are told, representing the first evidence of life on earth. Stromatolite fossils are common – they had millions of use to form and profligate. They are commonly found in rocks in western Australia – some of the oldest rocks on the planet. Stromatalites were prone to grazing animals and it is thought they were wiped out. However, they have now been found on the opposite side of Australia, in Tasmania – and some of them had adapted to living on land. A paper in Scientific Reports (back in November) reported on stromatolites in the sand and gravel beds living in springs and ponds in the wetlands of a major river system. They are still found in wet places – but wet places on land rather than in shallow seas.