Researchers discover first evidence of life on land

Researchers discover first evidence of life on land

Fossil evidence of early life discovered decades ago in old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara area of Western Australia is expected to shed more light on the evolution of early life on Earth.

After making a fresh analysis of the fossil, researchers estimated that the fossil evidence dates back almost 3.48 billion years. The estimated date of the fossil extends the previous known evidence of life at land-based hot springs on our planet by nearly 3 billion years.

Fossilized stromatolites, rock structures built by microorganisms, were discovered in Pilbara deposits in the 1970s. The researchers also estimated that the fossil was actually part of a prehistoric volcano.

Separately, a new study by a team of researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has tried to describe how electrical energy naturally generated at the sea floor might have given rise to life.

Lead researcher Russell said in a statement, “Life takes advantage of unbalanced states on the planet, which may have been the case billions of years ago at the alkaline hydrothermal vents. Life is the process that resolves these disequilibria.”

The findings of the two studies were detailed in most recent editions of the Nature Communications and the journal Astrobiology, respectively.