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Oldest reported fossil sulphur bacteria that thrived even without oxygen discovered by scientists

The Fossil Samples Provided By Scientists From University Of Cincinnati Show Microscopic Bacterium That Survived During A Time When Earth’s Oxygen Levels Were Lesser For Any Organism To Survive.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 01 Dec 2016, 01:05:14 PM
Researchers discover bacteria fossils that thrived on earth even before oxygen existed (Getty Images)

New Delhi:

Researchers have discovered some bacteria fossils which date back to 52 billion-year-old. The astonishing discovery shows that some early life forms existed on Earth without oxygen.

The fossil samples provided by scientists from University of Cincinnati show microscopic bacterium that survived during a time when Earth’s oxygen levels were lesser for any organism to survive.

Now what puzzles researchers is how they survived at a time when oxygen levels in the atmosphere were less than one-thousandth of one per cent of what they are today.

As these are the oldest reported fossil sulphur bacteria to date, according to scientists. It’s a great chance for scientists to study diversity of life and ecosystems that existed just prior to the Great Oxidation Event.

These 2.52 billion-year-old sulphur-oxidising bacteria are exceptionally large similar to some modern single-celled organisms that live in deep water sulphur-rich ocean settings, where even now there are almost no traces of oxygen. The study was published in the journal Geology.

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First Published : 30 Nov 2016, 08:35:00 PM