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July 3, 2008

News Article: WSLS

By: | WSLS 10
Published: July 03, 2008

History is being made in our of our local museums.
A 500 million-year-old fossil is at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville.

It's called a stromatolite, and it was found at the Boxley Blue Ridge Quarry near Roanoke.

Live stromatolites are made up of algae and mud that survive in shallow water.
Scientists say these fossils are common to find, but what makes this one so rare is that it's still intact.

The size is also a distinguishing factor at over five feet across and weighing about two tons.

Now, scientists say they have some work to do.

"Looking over the entire top surface for any indication of other organisms that might have been eating the stromatolite or living on the surface. For stromatolites that are alive, it's a pretty common occurrence, so that might tell us a little more about what other organisms in the ecosystem may have been like," said Dr. Alton Dooley, with the museum.

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