Unique stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, Western Australia
By Judy Evans
October 26, 2020 8:24am CST
I have always thought Western Australia was pretty special and this was reinforced when we visited Hamelin Pool in the Shark Bay area of our state. As well as have a shell beach, Hamelin Pool is one of only a very few places where there are living stromatolites. There is another colony in the Bahamas and smaller collections elsewhere. These are pretty underwhelming to look at, in appearance being something of a cross between huge cauliflowers and rocks. Stromatolites (from the Greek for ‘layered rock’) are microbial reefs and are one of the earliest known life forms, so are effectively living fossils. The deposits are created by cyanobacteria and formed by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary particles. The stromatolites release oxygen into the air and can sometimes be seen fizzing underwater. The salinity of Hamelin Pool is almost twice that of the ocean and ultraviolet radiation is extreme, meaning there are few predators so the microbial mat communities thrive. I wondered what could possibly be a predator but apparently there is a gastropod (saltwater snail) that can destroy the stromatolites. Growth is incredibly slow with perhaps 1mm per year being added to the surface of the rocks. There is a nicely made boardwalk which allows you to view the stromatolites without the risk of damaging them.
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• Louisville, Kentucky
@JudyEv — I guess if you want a rock show you have to go to Sir Paul McCartney!
Titulo: Venus and Mars/ Rock Show Artista: Paul McCartney and Wings Album: Venus and Mars Año: 1975
• United States
oh wow! i'm quite the rock hound'n find these livin' formations 'xtremely fascinatin'! i've watched many documentaries where such's scientifically proven that life began there'n australia. there 'lways seems to be a predator, eh? amazin' the adaptions to survive such conditions, though such prolly dates 'round the same time? outside 'f the saltiness, does such've an 'odor'? very glad they've a carefully constructed boardwalk so's not to disturb this delicate ecosystem. places such's this need great protections from man's destructive nature. thanks much fer this history lesson! i so need to come fer a visit though don't reckon e'en a 6 month visa'd be long 'nough fer my brain to 'bsorb 't all :)
• United States
@JudyEv too much salinity fer the seaweeds perhaps? 'twas jest wonderin' 's many places 'f wonder like that here'n the u.s. seems to come with'n 'odor'. which't times ya jest can't put'cher finger'n what such'd be. what? this's right off that beautiful shell beach? dang't...knew i should'a snuck 'nto y'all's caravan, lol. purty certain e'en 12 months'd not be long 'nough. thinkin' possibly 1/4 per 6 months? jest think, if'n i'd the fundin' fer such'n 'dventure, i could hire yerself'n mr. vince to be my guides/drivers :D