The first fossils

The oldest sedimentary rocks that we know of date back to 3 and a half billion years ago and they probably contain traces of life. These rocks were found in Canada, in South Africa and in Australia and have been given a precise age thanks to the radioisotope method. The chemical analysis of these rocks has revealed the presence of certain compounds that could be considered as “chemical fossils” because apparently they come exclusively from the metabolism of living beings. As a matter of fact we cannot be 100% certain about them being so ancient because the rocks may have been contaminated subsequently by organic material which was produced much more recently.

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Facts

  • A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago)...

    Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

    Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...

  • Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

    Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as detergents

    Enzymes are proteins produced by the cells of all living organisms...

    Down-pouring bacteria

    It sounds incredible, but recent researches have found that bacteria can cause some atmospheric phenomena...

    High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • 17 May 2011

    A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago)...

    13 May 2011

    Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

  • Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...

    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

    A drop of blood, a fragment of skin or a hair found on the scene of a crime can supply…

    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • 17 May 2011

    A frozen mammoth

    During the Pleistocene (approximately 1.5 million years ago)...

  • 13 May 2011

    Life from space

    According to some scientists life has always existed in the Universe just like the Universe...

  • Clonation and Future

    The ability to give life to identical organisms, called clonation...