Web Desk: Scientists have discovered the oldest colors in the geological record, 1.1 billion-year-old pigments extracted from rocks deep beneath the Sahara desert in Africa.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that the pigments taken from marine black shales of the Taoudeni Basin in Mauritania, West Africa, were more than half a billion years older than previous pigment discoveries.
“The bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished,” said Nur Gueneli from the Australia National University (ANU) Research School of Earth Sciences and the paper’s first author.
The fossils range from blood red to deep purple in their concentrated form, and bright pink when diluted, according to the study.
The researchers crushed the billion-year-old rocks to powder, before extracting and analyzing molecules of ancient organisms from them.