Electron Microscopy of Fossil Bacteria Two Billion Years Old

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Science  17 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3690, pp. 1365-1367
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3690.1365


Occurrence of well-preserved rod-shaped and coccoid bacteria in the Precambrian Gunflint chert (1.9 x 109 years old) has been demonstrated by electron microscopy. This appears to be the oldest definite occurrence of bacteria in the fossil record. The organisms are morphologically comparable with certain modern iron bacteria.