Microfossil-like objects from the Archaean of Greenland: A cautionary note

D. Bridgwater*, J. H. Allaart, J. W. Schopf, C. Klein, M. R. Walter, E. S. Barghoorn, P. Strother, A. H. Knoll, B. E. Gorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Recent reports1-4 have described "yeast-like microfossils" (Isuasphaera isua Pflug2) in 3,800-Myr old 5 metaquartzites from the Isua supracrustal belt of south-west Greenland. A biogenic interpretation of these objects is inconsistent with the tectonic history of the Isua region6-8, with the petrology of the metaquartzites, and with the morphology of the microstructures themselves. The putative microfossils are indistinguishable from limonite-stained fluid inclusions: microstructures which are demonstrably inorganic and post-depositional in origin. As such, we contend here that these objects should not be regarded as evidence of early Archaean life forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-53
Number of pages3
Issue number5793
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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