Stromatolites: the Earth’s oldest living lifeforms
In Western Australia, 3.5bn-year-old stromatolites built up the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere to about 20%, giving the kiss of life to all that was to evolve. Stromatolites are living fossils and the oldest living lifeforms on our planet. The name derives from the Greek, stroma, meaning “mattress”, and lithos, meaning “rock”. Stromatolite literally means “layered rock”. The existence of these ancient rocks extends three-quarters of the way back to the origins of the Solar System.