FIGURE 1.18 (a) Fossil of a eukaryotic microorganism preserved in ca. 580 Ma phosphorite from the Doushantuo Formation, China. The fossil is 250 microns across. (b) Branching cyanobacterium preserved in ca. 800 Ma chert from the Upper Eleonore Bay Group, Greenland. The fossil is 500 microns from left to right. (c) Paired 4-micron-wide carbonaceous spheroids in ca. 3,500 Ma cherts from the Onverwacht Group, South Africa. Are these fossils? SOURCE: Courtesy of Andrew Knoll, Harvard University.

FIGURE 1.19 (a) Stromatolite built by the trapping and building of sediment particles by microbial communities—1,500 Ma Bil’yakh Group, Siberia. SOURCE: Courtesy of Andrew Knoll, Harvard University. (b) Stromatolites built of seafloor precipitate structures that are composed of calcium carbonate crystals without any obvious templating influence of microorganisms—1,900 Ma Rocknest Formation, Canada. SOURCE: Courtesy of John Grotzinger, Caltech. Used with permission.

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