(ORDO NEWS) — Paleontologists have found the oldest bacteria that could decompose organic matter. Their age is over 1.9 billion years.
Recall that organisms that can produce energy through the decomposition of other organic beings are called heterotrophs.
After a thorough analysis, scientists found that the first heterotrophs appeared on our planet about 3.5 billion years ago.
The researchers were able to compose their image based on rock samples of the found formation. They were found in Canada near Lake Superior.
This formation is known for the remains of the Precambrian bacterial fauna, which are perfectly preserved here. Huroniospora and Gunintia species predominate here.
It is believed that they were clearly photoautotrophs, since they synthesized organic matter from inorganic matter using sunlight.
However, experts found that individual shells of Gunintia were noticeably perforated. This indicates the action of heterotrophs attacking these bacteria.
Confirmed the presence of heterotrophs and iron sulfide, which penetrated into their shells. Paleontologists are sure that ancient heterotrophs preferred Gunintia, demonstrating picky eating habits.
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