Unmineralized fossil bacteria




Unmineralized bacterial cells, mostly Micrococcus sp., but including also Streptococcus sp. and Actinomyces sp., were found in enormous numbers in lake beds of the Newark Canyon Formation of Early Cretaceous age, Eureka County, Nevada. The micrococci are black, and have an average diameter about 0.5 µ. Similar black micrococci (0.4 to 0.7 µ) were found in profusion in the bottom mud of Green Lake, New York. About 80 percent of this mud consists of minute idiomorphic calcite crystals and about 20 percent of these contain enormous numbers of the black micrococci. It is suggested that the Early Cretaceous bacterial cells owe their preservation to occlusion in calcite crystals that grew in a black, bacterial mud in a meromictic lake in which part of the Newark Canyon Formation accumulated.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Unmineralized fossil bacteria
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.141.3584.919
Volume 141
Issue 3584
Year Published 1963
Language English
Publisher AAAS
Description 3 p.
First page 919
Last page 921
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