Oldest fossils found in Australia

Strelly Pool in Pilbara

Researchers investigating sandstones from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, have identified 3.49 billion year old microbial trace fossils – the oldest fossils ever described.

Biogeochemists from Old Dominion University, Virginia, presented findings to the Geological Society of America. The find describes criss-crossing ridges, thought to be the remains of an interlocking network of bacteria. Although structurally different from Stromatolites, these new structures are thought to represent comparable, organised microbial communities. 

Last year another research team reported similar structures from the 3.4 billion year old Strelly Pool Formation (pictured), also in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. 

Further details can be found here.