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Life Reached Land Earlier Than Thought


 Life colonised the land more than a billion years ago, far earlier than
previously thought.

A geologist at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, Dr Tony Prave, has
evidence that some ancient sandy surfaces were covered in a film of
bacteria, a so-called biocrust.

The rocks with the evidence for a biocrust are in the Torridon region of
north-west Scotland, where they were laid down between 1,000 million and
543 million years ago.

Ripples have been found that show the sand was being held together by a
bacterial film. "This may be traces of the first creatures ever to live on
the land," Dr Prave told BBC News Online.