A team of scientists led by a Moroccan professor has discovered extremophiles microbial life in confined spaces in Morocco.
Rabat – An international team of experts has carried out a study that led them to discover in an extremophile’s microbial life in confined spaces in Morocco, dating back to 570 million years.
The team is led by Moroccan professor Abderrazak El Albani, a professor at the Institute of Chemistry of Environments and Materials of Poitiers, in wstern France.
According to the professor, the microbial life extremophile dates back to 570 million years.
The team showed that microbes were able “to colonize and thrive in extremophile environments associated with a very confined volcanic lake environment” in the Ouarzazate region.
The University of Poitiers announced the discovery in an article published on its website.
In the announcement, the experts explained how ancient ecosystems function.
They identified the area of discovery near the town of Amane Tazgart in Ouarzazate.
“The results obtained provide unmistakable fossil evidence that microorganisms have been able to adapt in a surprising manner to very diverse environments, in extreme conditions,” the team explained.
The site of discovery enabled the experts to explore biological constructs associated with the activity of bacterial colonies known as stromatolites.
“Dated to 571 Ma, they are among the best preserved biological buildings of this period (Precambrian) for the whole of the African continent and in this type of geological context,” said the University of Poitiers’s statement.
It added that the colonies developed in a volcanic caldera lake, where temperatures were relatively high.
“So many inhospitable conditions that have long been considered impossible for the development of any form of life.”
The team explained that the extreme conditions in which microbial communities lived and thrived have recently attracted NASA’s attention.
The discovery of such phenomena could serve as a “terrestrial analogue for the search for simple life forms likely to exist on other planets,” the study found.
The team also found that such evidence might result in the inclusion of the site to the UNESCO world heritage.
In recent years, Morocco has been home to different discoveries. Most recently, scientists from Cambridge University and the University of Western Australia discovered the world’s oldest starfish fossil in Morocco.
Scientists have also explored several dinosaur fossils in the country.