stromatolite


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stromatolite

(strō-măt′l-īt′)
n.
A usually rounded or columnar sedimentary structure consisting of alternating layers of carbonate or silicate sediment and fossilized microbial mats, produced over geologic time by the trapping, binding, or precipitating of minerals by groups of microorganisms, primarily cyanobacteria.

stro·mat′o·lit′ic (-măt′l-ĭt′ĭk) adj.

stromatolite

a rock-like mound, often found in fossil form (which can be over 3000 million years old), created by CYANOBACTERIA. It is possible that the fossil microbes within the stromatolite were able to produce oxygen from photosynthesis. If so, they are likely to have had a profound effect on the course of evolution of living forms.