noun \strō-ˈma-tə-ˌlīt\

Definition of STROMATOLITE

:  a laminated usually mounded sedimentary fossil formed from layers of cyanobacteria, calcium carbonate, and trapped sediment
stro·mat·o·lit·ic \-ˌma-tə-ˈli-tik\ adjective


Latin stromat-, stroma bed covering + English -o- + -lite
First Known Use: 1930


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Layered deposit, mainly of limestone, formed by the growth of blue-green algae (see cyanobacteria). These structures are usually characterized by thin, alternating light and dark layers that may be flat, hummocky, or dome-shaped. Stromatolites were common in Precambrian time (more than 543 million years ago). Some of the first forms of life on Earth are recorded in stromatolites in rocks 3.5 billion years old. Stromatolites continue to form in certain areas today, most abundantly in Shark Bay in western Australia.


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