Clusters of islands poked through hot oceans 3.4 billion years ago, when the world still had no oxygen and the seas churned under a pallid, overcast sky. But life thrived on Earth even then, scientists say — and now they have the world’s oldest fossils to prove it.
There were no plants or algae to photosynthesize and produce oxygen, so microbial life used sulfur for energy and growth, researchers say. Microfossils of these earliest microbes extend the sandstone record of life on Earth by about 300 million years.
A massive amount of our planet's vegetation is a single species of bacteria-like organisms, new research uncovers
By Sam BarrettPosted 07.23.2008 at 4:40 pm 2 Comments
Ninety billion tons, nearly one-tenth of Earth's biomass, is made up of microbes living beneath the sea floor, according to two studies appearing this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature.
Scientists have found the most extreme single-celled Archaea yet, subsisting on methane nearly three miles below the surface
By Matt RansfordPosted 05.27.2008 at 12:42 pm 3 Comments
The Archaea group of organisms has just gotten a little bigger—and quite a bit deeper. Known to scientists as extremophiles—organisms which live in places inhospitable to other forms of life—the Archaea group is home to many single-celled creatures capable of thriving in environments of exceptional temperature, pressure, and acidity. The latest member has been discovered off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, under 2.8 miles of water and a mile of rock. Previously, the deepest these organisms had been found underground was half as far.