London: If it is true, then scientists have discovered the oldest fossil of living beings on Earth. It will also mean that life on our planet is far older than we earlier thought and may be closer to the formation of planet itself
Reports suggest that scientists have come across fossils of living organisms on Earth. According to scientists, these fossils were found in Canadian rocks and are represented by tiny filaments, knobs and tubes.
Researchers from University College London have said that the fossils may be around 4.28 billion years old.
The life on earth was earlier thought to begin much later. The latest discovery, if proved right in the coming days, will mean that the older estimates of the beginning of life were flawed. This period is very close to the formation of the planet and scientists will have to go back and reanalyze the beginning of life on Earth afresh.
The researchers claim that they are confident about their findings and they can answer any doubts in this regard.
Researchers from University College London have said that their latest finding is in the form of putative microbes. These microbes are one-tenth the width of a human hair and contain significant quantities of haematite – a form of iron oxide or “rust”.
The lead researcher, Matthew Dodd, said that the latest discovery completely changes the concept of beginning of the life on Earth. BBC quoted him as saying, “This discovery answers the biggest questions mankind has asked itself – which are: where do we come from and why we are here…It is very humbling to have the oldest known lifeforms in your hands and being able to look at them and analyse them”.
Researchers, while detailing the findings claim that the fossil structures were found in quartz layers in Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (NSB) that is a chunk of ancient ocean floor. It contains some of the oldest volcanic and sedimentary rocks known to science. But the scientists should be ready to face skepticism and questions as doubt are natural to be raised regarding such claims.