Mu­seum bags spe­cial rock

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A ROCK formed 2.6 bil­lion years ago and found in a Rio Tinto mine in Aus­tralia’s Pil­bara re­gion will be dis­played at Lon­don’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum. The 2.5 tonne rock sourced from the Mount Tom Price Mine, with help from the area’s tra­di­tional own­ers the Eastern Gu­ruma peo­ple, will be part of an ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing the nat­u­ral world.

The colour­fully lay­ered rock is a piece of banded iron for­ma­tion, cre­ated when bac­te­ria in the Earth’s oceans be­gan to pro­duce oxy­gen through pho­to­syn­the­sis. That oxy­gen com­bined with iron in the wa­ter to form iron ox­ide and sank to the sea floor, where lay­ers of it later played a key role in oxy­genat­ing the ocean and sup­port­ing the evo­lu­tion of more com­plex life.

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