Stromatolites are fossilized algae colonies, identified as some of the oldest, and longest continually surviving forms of life on Earth. There are stromatolites that have been dated to an astonishing 3.6 billion years ago - living while the Earth may have been still under frequent bombardment by asteroids. There are just a few still living colonies of the same algae today along certain shallow-water coasts.
This beautiful museum cabinet display piece is from Wyoming and is named Chlorellopsis. It formed about 40 million years ago. It shows the characteristic botryoidal structure (lumpy - like a bunch of grapes, or a "brain" -like structuring) of the outer surface of the ancient colony. Other edges show the layered structure created by layer after layer of algal mat growth.
Size: Approximately 8" W X 5" H X 4.75" D, Weight: 11.4 lbs; Shipped with information and authenticity.
Additional information: This stromatolite is cut flat on one side and was naturally polished by wind and sand. The distinctive coloration makes it an beautiful and distinct specimen.
Cyanobacteria remained principal primary producers of stromatolites beginning in the Archaean and continuing throughout the Proterozoic. By the Eocene, stromatolites had markedly declined on earth, and their formation was no longer entirely mediated prokaryotic cyanobacteria origin. This particular formation, as indicated by the name Chlorellopsis, is presumed by be of algal origin. But, it is reasonable to conjecture that multiple and competing microorganisms, both prokarytic and eukaryotic could have contributed to the formation of Chlorellopsis.
The specimen has been lightly sprayed with water to help see its natural characteristics.