Filamentous fossil bacteria from the Archean of Western Australia

S. M. Awramik*, J. W. Schopf, M. R. Walter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Citations (Scopus)


Four morphotypes of structurally preserved, filamentous fossil bacteria have been discovered in petrographic thin sections of laminated, carbonaceous cherts from the ∼3500 Ma-old Warrawoona Group of northwestern Australia. These tubular and septate microfossils are interpreted here as being syngenetic with Warrawoona sedimentation; as such, they are apparently the oldest such fossils now known in the geological record. The diversity of this assemblage, and the evident complexity of its individual components, suggest that the beginnings of life on Earth may have appreciably pre-dated the deposition of the Warrawoona sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-374
Number of pages18
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


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