This discovery confirms that life existed on earth about 4 billion years ago. Study has claimed that these ancient microfossils were found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Tiny and iron-rich microbes spewed from the depths of ocean and they could help in revealing the cradle of life.
Scientists have said that these microfossils are probably remains of microorganisms which lived in ancient hydrothermal vents.
The study coauthor Matthew Dodd, a biogeochemist at University College London, has said, “In a nutshell, what we’ve found are the oldest microfossils on Earth.”
The rocks that hold the fossils are exhumed from Quebec, Canada and data between 4.28 billion and 3.77 billion years old. This was the time when earth was still in its infancy. The next oldest microfossils are claimed to be less than 3.5 billion years old. However, the validity of this claim is debatable.
If these exhumed structures are really remains of microbes, “it’s fantastic. I love it,” says astrobiologist Martin Van Kranendonk from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. However, he is not convinced. Rather, he said, “there’s just not definitive proof that any of the textures or the minerals or features they have is unique of life.”
Such claims of early life on earth are usually full of controversy. Scientists working in this field generally don’t have enough material to research on. For instance, in case of microbes, the cellular bits and other signs of life have often been wasted. Researchers have to rely on rock textures and patterns and chemical testing.
In this case, researchers have to use similar methods to testify their claims. But regardless of the timeframe, the study may emphasize the fact that hydrothermal vents were birthplace for life.