Dale Andersen's Field Reports: Lake Untersee, Antarctica (Gigapixel panorama)

Three and a half billion years ago our planet was quite different and Earth's earliest biosphere was dominated by microbial communities - complex multicellular organisms were not to evolve for quite some time, only arriving on the scene about 600 million years ago. Those early ecosystems resulted in the formation of luxuriant microbial mats with a variety of morphologies which are seen today in the stromatolitic fossil record scattered around the globe. One of these morphologies was simply large cones, sometimes reaching heights of 2 meters. Read the rest