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Microbial mounds

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  • Deborah Harrell
    Hey, Mars is mentioned, so it s almost on-topic: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060607/ap_on_sc/oldest_life Odd-shaped mounds of dirt in Australia turn out to be
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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      Hey, Mars is mentioned, so it's almost on-topic:

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060607/ap_on_sc/oldest_life
      Odd-shaped mounds of dirt in Australia turn out to be
      fossils of the oldest life on Earth, created by
      billions of microbes more than 3 billion years ago,
      scientists say in a new report. And these mounds are
      exactly the type of life astrobiologists are looking
      for on Mars and elsewhere.

      A study published Thursday in the journal Nature gives
      the strongest evidence yet that the mounds dotting a
      large swath of western Australia are Earth's oldest
      fossils. The theory is that these are not merely dirt
      piles that formed randomly into odd shapes, but that
      ancient microbes burrowed in and built them...

      ...The mounds come in different shapes — like egg
      cartons, swirls of frosting on cupcakes or waves on
      the ocean. They are called stromatolites and have been
      studied for a long time, but the big question has been
      if they were once teeming with life.

      Allwood's research, which included examining thousands
      of the mounds and grouping them into seven subtypes,
      is the most comprehensive and compelling yet to say
      the answer is yes, according to a top expert not on
      her team.

      "It is the best bet for the best evidence of the
      oldest life on Earth," said Bruce Runnegar, director
      of the NASA Astrobiology Institute in Moffett Field,
      Calif. "These are too complicated to be attributed to
      non-biological processes — but we don't know that for
      a fact."

      Allwood said her study made the case for life solidly
      by looking at how the stromatolites fit with the rock
      formations around them, with each other, and what
      would have been happening on Earth at that time. One
      of the clinchers was putting them in seven repeating
      subtypes, which indicates they weren't random...


      Isn't it also in Australia where similar but
      seashore-based colonies of some type of archaebacteria
      yet survive?

      Debbi
      Stone Bones Maru

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    • Charlie Bell
      ... Yep. Not exclusively - there have been colonies discovered in the Bahamas and elsewhere, but the largest and most famous are in Western Australia, a few
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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        On 07/06/2006, at 10:51 PM, Deborah Harrell wrote:
        >
        > Isn't it also in Australia where similar but
        > seashore-based colonies of some type of archaebacteria
        > yet survive?

        Yep. Not exclusively - there have been colonies discovered in the
        Bahamas and elsewhere, but the largest and most famous are in Western
        Australia, a few hundred km north of Perth at Hamlin Pool, Shark Bay.
        The reason they survive in these places is hypersalinitty in tropical
        or sub-tropical shallow seas, where conditions are similar to their
        ancient forebears (but saltier - there weren't any consumers when
        they evolved, and they can only survive today where it's too salty
        for those who would otherwise graze on them).

        There are also some great fossil stromies in the older Ediacaran
        strata, in the hills of South Australia, just before the pre-Cambrian
        critters appear.

        I visited the stromatolites of WA last November on my way down the
        west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're a biogeek.

        Charlie
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      • Deborah Harrell
        ... on ... Geek!?! Certainly not! Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia s creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms. A
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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          > Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
          > > On 07/06/2006, at 10:51 PM, Deborah Harrell wrote:

          > > Isn't it also in Australia where similar but
          > > seashore-based colonies of some type of
          > >archaebacteria yet survive?

          > Yep.....the largest and most
          > famous are in Western
          > Australia, a few hundred km north of Perth at Hamlin
          > Pool, Shark Bay.
          > The reason they survive in these places is
          > hypersalinitty in tropical
          > or sub-tropical shallow seas, where conditions are
          > similar to their ancient forebears...

          > ...I visited the stromatolites of WA last November
          on
          > my way down the
          > west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're a
          > biogeek.

          <indignant sniff>
          Geek!?! Certainly not!

          Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
          creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms. A
          fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)

          Debbi
          Yet Disdainer Of Parasites, However Fascinating Maru

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        • Charlie Bell
          ... I was referring to myself. :p ... Heathen. :p Charlie _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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            On 08/06/2006, at 12:05 AM, Deborah Harrell wrote:
            >
            >> ...I visited the stromatolites of WA last November
            > on
            >> my way down the
            >> west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're a
            >> biogeek.
            >
            > <indignant sniff>
            > Geek!?! Certainly not!

            I was referring to myself. :p
            >
            > Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
            > creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms. A
            > fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)
            >
            > Debbi
            > Yet Disdainer Of Parasites, However Fascinating Maru

            Heathen. :p

            Charlie
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          • Ronn!Blankenship
            ... Eats at seafood restaurants. --Ronn! :) Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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              At 04:05 PM Wednesday 6/7/2006, Deborah Harrell wrote:
              > > Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
              > > > On 07/06/2006, at 10:51 PM, Deborah Harrell wrote:
              >
              > > > Isn't it also in Australia where similar but
              > > > seashore-based colonies of some type of
              > > >archaebacteria yet survive?
              >
              > > Yep.....the largest and most
              > > famous are in Western
              > > Australia, a few hundred km north of Perth at Hamlin
              > > Pool, Shark Bay.
              > > The reason they survive in these places is
              > > hypersalinitty in tropical
              > > or sub-tropical shallow seas, where conditions are
              > > similar to their ancient forebears...
              >
              > > ...I visited the stromatolites of WA last November
              >on
              > > my way down the
              > > west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're a
              > > biogeek.
              >
              ><indignant sniff>
              >Geek!?! Certainly not!
              >
              >Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
              >creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms. A
              >fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)


              Eats at seafood restaurants.


              --Ronn! :)

              "Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country
              and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance... UNDER
              GOD. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that
              would be eliminated from schools too?"
              -- Red Skelton

              (Someone asked me to change my .sig quote back, so I did.)




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            • Deborah Harrell
              ... ... Ya gotta luv dem crawfish, cher! Debbi Eaters-of-Carrion Okey-dokey, Parasites Icky-wicky! Maru ;-)
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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                > Ronn!Blankenship <ronn_blankenship@...>
                wrote:
                > > Deborah Harrell wrote:

                <snip>
                > >Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
                > >creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms.
                > >A fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)

                > Eats at seafood restaurants.

                <grin>
                Ya gotta luv dem crawfish, cher!

                Debbi
                Eaters-of-Carrion Okey-dokey, Parasites Icky-wicky!
                Maru ;-)

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              • Julia Thompson
                ... Huh? In most of the circles I move in, geek is considered a compliment, or at least not an insult. :) Julia ask me about the wireless internet security
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 7, 2006
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                  Deborah Harrell wrote:
                  >> Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
                  >> ...I visited the stromatolites of WA last November
                  > on
                  >> my way down the
                  >> west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're a
                  >> biogeek.
                  >
                  > <indignant sniff>
                  > Geek!?! Certainly not!
                  >
                  > Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
                  > creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms. A
                  > fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)

                  Huh? In most of the circles I move in, "geek" is considered a
                  compliment, or at least not an insult. :)

                  Julia

                  ask me about the wireless internet security protocol someone came up
                  with for a small network recently, and why it was a bad idea

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                • Deborah Harrell
                  ... Now I m feeling like Dan M; that was intended to be humorous, not insulted. That s why I put a smiley afterward! Debbi Apparently Some
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 8, 2006
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                    > Julia Thompson <julia@...> wrote:
                    > > Deborah Harrell wrote:
                    > >> Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:

                    > >> ...I visited the stromatolites of WA last
                    > > >November on my way down the
                    > >> west coast of Oz. It was pretty awesome if you're
                    > >> a biogeek.

                    > > <indignant sniff>
                    > > Geek!?! Certainly not!

                    > > Appreciator of biodiversity. Esteemer of Gaia's
                    > > creations. Fancier of rare and unusual lifeforms.
                    > >A fishy-nado of tenacious creatures. ;)

                    > Huh? In most of the circles I move in, "geek" is
                    > considered a
                    > compliment, or at least not an insult. :)

                    <scratching head>
                    Now I'm feeling like Dan M; that was intended to be
                    humorous, not insulted. That's why I put a smiley
                    afterward!

                    Debbi
                    Apparently Some Similarities to Lt. Saavik Maru ;-)

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