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Stromatolite Fossils from Wyoming

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These Fossil Stromatolites from Wyoming are about 1.7 billion years old!. All of our wyoming stromatolites have been cut to show off the layers created as they grew. Stromatolites are the oldest recognizable fossils on earth! Some stromatolites found in Australia have been dated as old as 3.8 billion years old!
Stromatolites are the first organisms to produce oxygen through photosynthisis. The fossils you see pictured are the remains of cyanobacterial mats that grew in shallow seas. They were abundant and diverse with many species spread all over the world.

How did stromatolites form?

Colonies of cyanobacteria created thick mats where the land met the seas. They made their own food using photosynthisis. This process produced oxygen as a by product. The oxygen combined with elements disolved in the seawater. This along with sand and other debri formed a crust covering the cyanobacteria which grew up through the crust to form another layer of cyanobacteria. Layer by layer formed creating mushroom shaped rocks we call stromatolites.

Stromatolites Today
These organisms have survived for billions of years and are still present in a few places today. The most famous of these is Shark Bay in Australia. They are also found in the waters surrounding the Bahamas.
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