Hints of oldest fossil life found in Greenland rocks
How long has Earth harbored life? Chemical signatures found in hardy microscopic crystals called zircons point to a beginning about 4.1 billion years ago. But finding fossilized remains of microbes—undoubtedly the creature of the day—is a far more difficult task. Now, scientists say they have identified fossilized microbial mats, called stromatolites, in Greenland that date to about 3.7 billion years ago—nearly 300 million years older than the previous fossil record holder. The find may help guide scientists searching for life on other planets.