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Virtual Earth map of Strelley Pool Chert rock formation

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The Strelley Pool Chert rock formation in in the Pilbara region of Western Australia preserve an environment that existed 3.43 billion years ago, including several kinds of stromatolites.
Stromatolites have traditionally been defined as remains of ancient life formsómicrobial mats that mixed with mud and built up rock-like structures.
Palaeontologists and geologists conclude that this area was once submerged under the ocean and formed a fairly flat area, perhaps the floor of a shallow ocean. As this now-arid region was once underwater, stromatolite-forming microbes would have thrived in a shallow sea where the water kept them moist but the Sunís rays could still penetrate and fuel photosynthesis.


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