Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia
Dimensions: 90 x 55 mm.
Weight: 85 grams.
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This is an exceptional example the Earth's oldest fossil, stromatolite, from an unusual South American Cretaceous formation. This slab of stromatolite was cut and polished perpendicularly to the individual colonial layers and thus exhibits multiple colored growth rings. The stromatolite has been polished to a mirror finish on one side, vividly rendering the inherent beauty of stromatolite and making apparent the biogenic process in its formation. Once thought o be Proterozoic in age, it has subsequently ben determined to be Late Cretaceous, just a few million years prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This remarkable specimen is appropriate for display, teaching or research, representing primitive prokaryotic life responsible for forming the atmosphere that we breathe today. Stromatolites have persisted to the modern day in such places as Shark Bay, Australia where they continue their billions of years old lifestyle.