New Farm Park, Brisbane

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

THE OLDEST LIFE FORM ON EARTH

After Shell Beach we boarded the tour bus for the small settlement of Hamelin Pool. We are still in the Shark Bay World Heritage area of WA. Hamelin Pool is the home of the oldest life form on earth--Stromatolites. Recent research claims they were on earth 3,450 billion years ago. Modern ones are only found in two places in the world, The Bahamas and here in Shark Bay.  Stromatolites were the first structures built by cyanobacteria which produced oxygen and so led the way for the development of plant and animal life. They need shallow, warm, salty water to grow. 
The videographer is filming our group walking out on the boardwalk, which protects these fragile life forms.  At first they look like rocks but they are not, some are spongy and some are hard. Come with us and learn about these strange organisms by reading the plaques on the boardwalk. In most photos you are looking through the water and so they may be a little blurry.


















So there you have your science lesson for today. I vaguely remember a David Attenborough program about stromatolites but it was a special treat to learn about them in real life. 

28 comments:

  1. Wow! Never did any science lessons at school or college.
    Just the names of what you have used are confusing enough. I bet 99.9% of Australians have never heard of this being in this country. Did you?????
    You have excelleded yourself on reports of this trip - I was going to list them all - but I am sure your viewers really don't need being reminded.
    I think I shall show a lot more reverance when next we meet - well, don't count on it - ha ha!
    In absolute awe!
    Colin (HB)

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  2. Really interesting visit I learned something new today.
    have to find the David Attenborugh video.

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  3. So cool. I bet this is a popular place for marine biology field trips.
    Australia really is blessed with so much natural beauty! It has been fascinating to follow along with you on this trip.

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  4. I've never heard of them (conciously!) so it was a very interesting post for me, Diane. Thanks, you explain things so well.(the teacher?) Jo

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  5. Super pictures of the rocks in the water and you both on the pier.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  6. I really enjoyed this science lesson. Having your great photos to accompany the signs really made this fascinating, it was almost like being there Diane. Thanks for the tour.

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  7. Thanks for the lesson, it is great to see the photos while learning something new too. Great shots and I love the one of you and Bill. What a neat tour you have taken, i would enjoy this too. Great photos.

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  8. I had actually heard about these, but knew nothing in reality. I am glad they have the walkway right out over the area to enable tourists to see but not damage. Amazing that the barrels did so much lasting damage. I echo what Colin has said about your reportage of this trip, Diane. Swell job.

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  9. How interesting ! I never heard about this ! Blogging really enlarges general knowledge. Your pictures too are amazing !

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  10. I've never heard of Stromatalites before!! - what unusual formations - you must have thought you had stepped onto another planet

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  11. What an interesting lecture, I had never heard about these formations. Beautiful photo's of the underwater.

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  12. Fascinating new stuff, and more great photos. Sounds like a rather unique tour all round.

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  13. the beaches are gorgeous and that sky if just plain magnificent

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  14. Thanks for a fascinating science lesson, complete with wonderful photos. I had not heard of strmatolites before, so you've taught me something new. Thank you.

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  15. Wow Diane, what an interesting post... I learned so much... IF I ever heard of the stromatolites --it was many many years ago, and I don't remember now...

    Love the interesting info they gave you about those little sponge-like creatures... Thanks so much for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  16. Oh...I did not know that!
    Thank you; and the photos are so nice!!!! Love it!


    Good night!

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  17. That is fascinating, Diane.

    And..what gorgeous colors the sea is too...all those shades of turquoise.

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  18. The pier looked a long one. I might have handled a stromatolite in Singapore. The Government was going to reclaim a special beach with lots of endangered species. I went as a greenie to protest.

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  19. I love seeing these sites...beautiful and I learned a lot too

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  20. I've heard of them, but never seen them. There is something about them that makes you want to touch them, which I suppose is forbidden.

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  21. this was interesting
    Too bad we can't grow them at home.Imagine if each house hold grew them in their back yard how much more oxygen we would produce for our planet.Even to grow them in hospitals or inside homes would be a very good thing.

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  22. Interesting and picturesq2ue tour. I always appreciate those kind of signs when we go places, because I am so woefully ignorant about science/geography .... now I want to learn all I can.

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  23. G'day Diane - I've wandered over after you left your comment and am now a 'follower' but I feel as though your blog is just going to make me feel homesick!

    I remember David Attenborough visiting these in his recent series (the one before Frozen Planet I think)....?

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  24. You have shared so many wonderful bits of history and info but I have to say this is one of the most fascinating.
    I have truly enjoyed it!
    And, I'd so like to see it. :)

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  25. I enjoyed this very much. Thanks for the education. I'd never heard of this before!

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  26. You and Bill have such a wonderful life together between your home, traveling, your family and your precious grandchildren (soon).

    I officially decided after talking to my doc to take long-term disability and retire, and Phil and I have been enjoying our lives together in old age. Maybe we can travel soon. I feel I am getting better.

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  27. I have seen these on TV and wondered if you would be visiting them ... I had no idea they were like this though. You always keeps us informed with your travels.

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