Congratulations to University of Cincinnati assistant professor of geology, Andrew Czaga and his team for finding fossils that reportedly existed prior to the existence of oxygen on this planet. For more information, you definitely want to check out Melanie Shefft’s piece in the new issue of UC Magazine.
Professor Czaga is quoted in this piece, “These are the oldest reported sulfur bacteria to date.” At approximately 2.5 billion years old, these specimens taken from South Africa are large and spherically shaped.
This excellent, detailed article and brief video of a 3-d image of the bacteria would be of great interest to teachers of Geology and Biology.
Questions for Discussion
- What geologic era is this discovery from?
- How are these organisms described? What current organisms are similar to them?
- What was the name of the major supercontinent comprised of South Africa and Western Australia?
- When did the Great Oxidation Event occur?
- What was the Great Oxidation Event?
- Describe the process of “recycling” as explained in the article.
- Looking at the graph, what do you think the “photic limit” means?
- What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”