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Ancient algae found.

Tiny fossils of some of the oldest blue-green and green plants on Earth were found in well-preserved condition in Bitter Springs limestone in central Australia. The age of these prehistoric plants cannot be stated with certainty, but they probably are 700 million to 900 million years old.

UPDATE: The 1965 finding was one of the first fossil discoveries of early oxygen-producing photosynthetic organisms. Cyanobacteria--once known as blue-green algae and considered plants--were the first lifeforms to produce oxygen. Today's oldest known cyanobacteria fossils date to around 2.1 billion years ago. But cyanobacteria debuted much earlier. During the Great Oxygenation Event, around 2.3 billion years ago, these microbes poured oxygen into Earth's atmosphere. And recently, researchers have reported evidence that oxygen-producing organisms existed long before that, perhaps 3.2 billion years ago (SN Online: 9/8/15).

Caption: Excerpt from the October 30, 1965, issue of Science News Letter


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Title Annotation:50 YEARS AGO
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 31, 2015
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