Magnetofossils

Magnetofossils are the fossil remains of magnetic particles produced by magnetotactic bacteria and preserved in the geologic record. The oldest definitive magnetofossils formed of the mineral magnetite come from the Cretaceous chalk beds of southern England, while magnetofossil reports not considered to be robust extend on Earth to the 1.9-billion-year-old Gunflint Chert; they include the four-billion-year-old Martian meteorite ALH84001.

Though some magnetotactic bacteria produce greigite instead of or in addition to magnetite, no greigite magnetofossils have been reported. Because most magnetotactic bacteria live under specific redox conditions, several authors have proposed that a better-developed magnetofossil record could serve as a tracer for changing oxygen levels, both locally within sediments and at the planetary level.

References


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.