Oliver Meckes and Nicole Ottawa
Stromatolite, 2007

Scanning electron photomicrograph; magnification approximately x600 at capture; post-capture digital colorization

Eye of Science, Reutlingen, Germany

Stromatolites are mineralized microbial communities, formed from cyanobacteria, (formerly known as blue-green algae). Their formation takes thousands of years as the cyanobacteria trap detritus and sediment, forming large living rafts known as microbial mats. The cyanobacteria also secrete calcium carbonate, which causes the mats to mineralize, forming layered rock-like structures. This sample was taken from Lake Thetis, a saline lake in Western Australia.

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