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stromatolites, one of the first lifeforms on the planet, responsible for oxygenating the atmosphere

http://rashidfaridi.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/stromatolite-the-oldest-fossils-encoding-the-mysteries-of-deep-time/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stromatolite

city of the ancients

there is something very mystical and poetic about these stromatolites. they are like fossilized pillars of what gave birth to life on this planet.  

the development of chlorophyll  and possibly pre-chlorophyll pigments, to tap into solar energy, instead of mineral energy synthesis - the single switch in biology that set off the development of our entire food supply.  and these 'organisms', or more accurately, 'colonies', whether the first or not, carried out the work of oxygenating this planet, nearly 3 and a half billion years ago.  it's as if something nudged the entire future of life.  

no matter for how many years you study biology, it just gets more and more incredible to consider what the 'tree of life' is, and what interdependencies and dynamics have shaped its development.  it gets more incredible because the amount of things to learn about it, as far as we are concerned, is endless.

what an incredible piece of luck, that we are here at the bottom of that tree, looking back and observing it, and beginning to truly understand its roots.  nice to be alive and conscious at all!  and to think any person is short-sighted enough to deny other living things that benefit.  i barely even want to waste time thinking about it.