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Thrombolites (bacterial mats)

Description:

Thrombolites are rounded structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding, and cementation of calcium carbonate and other substances by colonies of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). The organisms that make up the thrombolites are considered close relatives to those that lived billions of years ago. Scientists believe they are the earliest form of life on earth, dating back 3500 million years, and the origins of oxygen in the atmosphere. These relics are mostly extinct and exist only as fossils - living examples can still be found growing in just a handful of places in the world, one of which is Lake Clifton. Thrombolites are formed when these organisms die and leave calcium carbonate skeletons behind, forming a base for the next generation to live. This process continues, forming a white skeletal mound.

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10 Comments

StevenSpragg
StevenSpragg 9 years ago

Spotting has been updated, new pictures added

StevenSpragg
StevenSpragg 9 years ago

Changed

1Sarah2
1Sarah2 9 years ago

How very cool! I've never heard of these before!

I would appreciate it if you would add a reference link. I searched all over for an appropriate one. Unless you'd like to use wikipedia, this is the best that I found. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversi...
This would belong in the 3rd spot for reference links.

thanks!
Sarah

Christiane
Christiane 9 years ago

Cool.. I have to put it on my list for next year! I am planning another trip to South WA in September next year.

StevenSpragg
StevenSpragg 9 years ago

100km South of Perth, near mandurah. In the picture they are the white rounded structures near the water. Dead formations can be seen further up the bank

Christiane
Christiane 9 years ago

Thanks StevenSpragg.. Where are the thrombolites?

StevenSpragg
StevenSpragg 9 years ago

Similar but not the same, thrombolites are formed in a different way to stromatolites.

StevenSpragg
StevenSpragg 9 years ago

Thanks for the comment :)

MaryOhkwari
MaryOhkwari 9 years ago

This is TOO cool, I've never heard of these... Thanks for sharing the photo, and the excellently informative description. :)

StevenSpragg
Spotted by
StevenSpragg

Mandurah, Western Australia, Australia

Spotted on Jan 27, 2011
Submitted on Sep 28, 2011

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