Archean Microfossils Showing Cell Division from the Swaziland System of South Africa

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Science  28 Oct 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4315, pp. 396-398
DOI: 10.1126/science.198.4315.396


A newly discovered population of organic walled microstructures from the Swaziland System, South Africa, is considered to be biological on the following grounds: (i) the structures are carbonaceous and occasionally have internal organic contents; (ii) the population has a narrow unimodal size frequency distribution (average diameter, 2.5 micrometers; range, 1 to 4 micrometers); (iii) the structures are not strictly spherical, but are commonly flattened and folded like younger microfossils; (iv) the sedimentary context is consistent with biogenic origins; and (v) various stages of binary division are clearly preserved.