Living Stromatolites

June 08, 2020

StromitesJune  2020 Viewer's Choice

Photographer: Claire Konig 
Summary Authors: Claire Konig; Jim Foster

Shown above are living stromatolites in Hamelin Pool, on the coast of Western Australia. Stromatolites have been around since the Precambrian; at that time there were no creatures with shells or bones. Thus, these microbial mats played an important role in increasing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere of the primeval Earth. Photosynthetic cyanobacteria remove carbon dioxide from water and as a result calcium carbonate precipitates onto the mat-like colonies that they form.