Stromatolites for collectors
Find some stromatolite fossils for your collection
Stromatolites are very popular among mineral and fossil collectors. Stromatolites are very beautiful and impressive minerals. Once polished, they reveal a stricking beauty with poetic forms. Check out our selection of the most beautiful stromatolite available online. We update this page every day.
Bookmark this page, so you don't miss any rare stromatolites in the future.
RARE STROMATOLITE FOSSILS FOR COLLECTORS:
A daily selection of stromatolites for sale
You will find on this page our daily selection of interesting stromatolites currently available on the web. We will highlight rare stromatolites like for example, a rare Stromatolite from North Pole Dome in Western Australia. We will also find some polished stromatolites for you.
Stromatolite fossils for the USA
Most of our sellers do ship stromatolites to the USA and many of them live in the USA. Just click on the stromatolite you like to see where it is shipped from. It is easier for American collectors to buy stromatolite from American suppliers. American collectors do like stromatolite a lot and collect them with passion.
Stromatolites from Australia
Australia is a great source of stromatolites. Some specific localities like North Pole Dome, Loves Creek, Jeerinah and other Australian collecting spots. Australian stromatolites are proposed by Australian suppliers but also by serious fossil suppliers from Europe or from the United States.
Polishing the surface of a stromatolite can enhance the visibility of its internal structures and layering. Stromatolites often have intricate patterns and textures formed by the layering of microbial mats and sediment. Polishing allows these details to be more clearly observed, providing insights into the growth and development of the stromatolite. You will find several wonderful polished stromatolites on this page.
Polishing stromatolites enhances its natural beauty
Your questions about stromatolite fossils.
We have received many questions from collectors about stromatolites. Please find below our answers to frequently-asked questions, it may be useful for you too !
What is the value of stromatolites ?
The price of stromatolites can vary widely based on factors such as size, quality, rarity, and the location where they were found. It's important to note that stromatolites are not typically valued in the same way as gemstones or precious minerals. Instead, their value is primarily scientific, educational, or aesthetic.
If you are interested in purchasing stromatolites, you may find them available through fossil dealers, geological supply stores, or online auction platforms. Prices can range from a few dollars for small or common specimens to several hundred or even thousands of dollars for larger, well-preserved, or scientifically significant examples.
Keep in mind the following considerations:
Size and Quality: Larger and well-preserved stromatolites may command higher prices. Specimens with distinct layering and clear microbial mat structures are often more desirable.
Location and Rarity: Stromatolites from certain locations may be more sought after by collectors due to their rarity or unique characteristics. Fossils from well-known sites with rich geological history may be valued more highly.
Scientific or Educational Significance: Specimens with particular scientific or educational importance may have increased value. For example, stromatolites that preserve exceptionally detailed microbial structures or contribute to a better understanding of ancient ecosystems may be highly prized by researchers and institutions.
To give you some examples, a 390g stromatolite from North Pole Dome in Australia will cost around $1,000.00. You can find a stromatolite Kussiella kussiensis from Canada will be found around $200.
What are stromatolites ?
Stromatolites are layered structures formed by the growth of cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae) and other microorganisms in shallow water environments. These structures are one of the oldest known forms of life on Earth and have played a significant role in the planet's geological and biological history.
Key features of stromatolites include:
Microbial Mat: Stromatolites are built by the trapping, binding, and cementation of sediment by communities of microorganisms, primarily cyanobacteria. These microorganisms form a slimy layer called a microbial mat, which helps in the mineralization of the surrounding sediments.
Layered Structure: As the microbial mat grows, it traps and binds sediment particles. Over time, these layers of sediment become lithified (turned into rock), creating a layered structure in the stromatolite. The alternating layers of microbial mats and sediment give rise to the characteristic laminated appearance of stromatolites.
Diverse Shapes: Stromatolites can take on various shapes, including domes, columns, mounds, and flat structures. The specific form depends on factors such as water depth, water chemistry, and the type of microbial communities present.
Fossil Record: Stromatolites have an extensive fossil record dating back over 3 billion years. They were particularly abundant in the Precambrian eon and are considered some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth. The decline in stromatolite abundance is thought to be linked to the evolution of grazing organisms that feed on microbial mats.
Modern Examples: While stromatolites are less common today than in the past, there are still a few locations around the world where they can be found. Examples include Shark Bay in Western Australia, the Bahamas, and certain hypersaline lagoons. Modern stromatolites are often found in extreme environments, such as those with high salinity or low nutrient availability, where microbial mats can thrive without being heavily grazed by other organisms.
Stromatolites are important in the study of Earth's early history and the evolution of life. Their fossilized remains provide valuable information about ancient environments, the development of microbial life, and the interactions between early organisms and their surroundings.
Where can I find stromatolites?
Stromatolites can be found in various locations around the world, often in geological formations that date back to the Precambrian and Paleozoic eras. Here are some notable locations where stromatolites can be found:
Shark Bay, Australia: Shark Bay in Western Australia is home to some of the most famous living stromatolites. The Hamelin Pool area in Shark Bay has modern stromatolites formed by microbial mats, providing insights into the processes that likely occurred in ancient times.
Pilbara Craton, Australia: The Pilbara region in Western Australia contains some of the oldest stromatolites on Earth, dating back over 3 billion years. The Pilbara Craton is known for its well-preserved Precambrian fossil record.
Greenland: Stromatolites have been discovered in rocks dating back to the Isua Greenstone Belt in Greenland, estimated to be around 3.7 billion years old, making them some of the oldest known evidence of life on Earth.
Western United States: Fossilized stromatolites can be found in various locations in the western United States, including parts of California, Nevada, and Utah. Some of these sites date back to the Proterozoic and Paleozoic eras.
Chinalco Mining Area, China: Stromatolites from the Ediacaran period (around 635 to 541 million years ago) have been found in the Chinalco mining area in China.
Chuar Group, Grand Canyon, USA: The Chuar Group in the Grand Canyon is known for its well-preserved stromatolites from the Proterozoic era.
Karakoram Range, Pakistan: Stromatolites from the early Cambrian period have been discovered in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan.
When visiting sites with stromatolites, it's important to be aware of local regulations regarding fossil collection. Some locations may have restrictions to protect geological features, and it's crucial to respect these guidelines. Additionally, some stromatolites are living formations in specific environments, so care should be taken to avoid disturbing them.
A nice stromatolite slice from Rocky Camp in Australia
How old are stromatolite fossils ?
Some stromatolites are among the oldest fossils known on our planet. In fact, fossils dating back more than 3 billion years (corresponding to the Archean Eon) are known. In our article on the geological time scale, we mentioned the Pilbara sediments, dated 3.5 billion years ago. Stromatolite fossils are particularly useful for studying the beginnings of life. At such a remote age, the living world was "reduced" to single-celled microorganisms such as cyanobacteria. As such organisms cannot be fossilized directly, traces of their biological activity must be found in ancient sediments. Finding fossil stromatolites is therefore a way of learning more about the origins of life, and in particular of trying to find out when it might have appeared. Discoveries in Archean and even Hadean sediments (the first eon in Earth's history!) are regularly associated with traces of biological activity. These discoveries are often controversial, as it is often difficult to distinguish certain structures of biological origin from purely geological ones. Such discoveries, dating back some 3.7 billion years, have been made in Greenland, for example, but are far from unanimously accepted by the scientific community. There is no doubt that further discoveries will enable us to learn more and continue the debate on the appearance of life on Earth!
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