Scientists in Australia, Norway, U.K. join forces, discover ancient Ontario smelled like eggs

Originally posted on National Post | News:

What would ancient Ontario have smelled like? A lot like rotten eggs, apparently.

That’s what new research published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says.

A team of scientists lead by David Wacey of the University of Western Australia and Bergen University, Norway, and Martin Brasier of Oxford University looked at fossils in Lake Superior to come up with the assessment.

The research looked at “heterotrophy,” a specific type of feeding one organic organism does on another. The fossils the team found in the lake were of a cyanobacterium-like fossil called Gunflintia. The Gunflintia was half eaten in the fossil.

The fossils indicate that micro organism preferred to snack on Gunflintia over other micro organisms.

“What we call ‘heterotrophy’ is the same thing we do after dinner as the bacteria in our gut break down organic matter,” Brasier of Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences, an author of the…

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