Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 15;100(8):4399-404. Epub 2003 Apr 7.

A complex microbiota from snowball Earth times: microfossils from the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation, Death Valley, USA.

Author information

  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


A thin carbonate unit associated with a Sturtian-age ( approximately 750-700 million years ago) glaciogenic diamictite of the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation, eastern California, contains microfossil evidence of a once-thriving prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial community (preserved in chert and carbonate). Stratiform stromatolites, oncoids, and rare columnar stromatolites also occur. The microbial fossils, which include putative autotrophic and heterotrophic eukaryotes, are similar to those found in chert in the underlying preglacial units. They indicate that microbial life adapted to shallow-water carbonate environments did not suffer the significant extinction postulated for this phase of low-latitude glaciation and that trophic complexity survived through snowball Earth times.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk