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Science. 1992 Jul 10;257(5067):232-5.

Megascopic eukaryotic algae from the 2.1-billion-year-old negaunee iron-formation, Michigan.

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  • 1Research Laboratory, Cliffs Mining Services Company-Michigan, Ishpeming 49849.


Hundreds of specimens of spirally coiled, megascopic, carbonaceous fossils resembling Grypania spiralis (Walcott), have been found in the 2.1-billion-year-old Negaunee Iron-Formation at the Empire Mine, near Marquette, Michigan. This occurrence of Grypania is 700 million to 1000 million years older than fossils from previously known sites in Montana, China, and India. As Grypania appears to have been a photosynthetic alga, this discovery places the origin of organelle-bearing eukaryotic cells prior to 2.1 billion years ago.

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