Experts Dissect a Primordial Banquetby KENNETH CHANGMarch 20, 2001, New York TimesExtending their knowledge of some of the earliest life on earth, scientists believe they have figured out what one group of bacteria was feasting on 3.5 billion years ago.Analyzing rocks from western Australia, the researchers did not find any fossils of the bacteria, but they said the chemical composition of sulfur compounds in the rock could only be the byproduct of living organisms - the leftovers of an ancient meal."In some ways, we've got a record what the first dinner party was like," said Dr. Roger Buick, a lecturer in paleontology and stratigraphy at the University of Sydney. "We can work out who the diners were. We can see what they were eating. We can even see what they were excreting. It's reconstructing a primordial banquet."The findings also suggest indirectly that the early atmosphere and oceans contained little oxygen.
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Sulfur, Sulfur compounds, Dr. Canfield, Dr. Donald E. Canfield