Animals and Insects

Scientists Dig Up Earth's Oldest Fossil

The newly discovered fossil is 3.77 billion years old.

Scientists Dig Up Earth's Oldest Fossil
Matthew Dodd
SMS

Scientists say they discovered the world's oldest fossils — dating back 3.77 billion years.

The research team found the fossilized microorganisms in quartz layers of some of the world's oldest rock. They come from the Archean Eon, when Earth was bombarded with asteroids.

The scientists say the finding supports the idea that life emerged from hot seafloor vents shortly after Earth formed.

This discovery comes just a few months after another team of scientists announced it had found the world's oldest fossils in Greenland. But those fossils date back only 3.7 billion years.

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Both research teams agree these discoveries could help in the search for life on other planets. If life existed on Earth in one of its most radical states, it might be able to survive the extreme conditions of other planets in our universe.