Stromatolites

Front Cover
Western Australian Museum, Sep 1, 2009 - Nature - 88 pages

David Attenborough began his extraordinary tv series,†The Living Planet†at Shark Bay in Australia’s northwest, because crossing the low dunes and descending to the beach is like slipping billions of years back in time. Where the waves gently break on the shore are stromatolites, rising like rows of concrete cauliflowers from the ocean. While they may look like inanimate rocks, examining a piece from the surface under a powerful microscope shows that it is teeming with life. Stromatolites are complex domes or columns of sediment formed by microbiological communities. These ‘living rocks’, as they are sometimes called, teem with the very oldest life forms on earth, having remained virtually unchanged during the comings and goings of all the animals and plants that have ever lived. This book is a clear and accessible, illustrated account of the structure and formation of these remarkable constructions.†

 

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Contents

Introduction
5
Living Stromatolites
15
Marine Stromatolites
21
Lacustrine Stromatolites
33
Fossil Stromatolites
47
Evolving Stromatolites
53
Stromatolites and Changing Day Length
69
Stromatolite Conservation
77
Acknowledgements
83
Further Reading
84
Copyright

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