<I>Primaevifilum amoenum</I> (IMAGE) University of Wisconsin-Madison Caption An example of one of the microfossils discovered in a sample of rock recovered from the Apex Chert, a rock formation in western Australia that is among the oldest and best-preserved rock deposits in the world. The fossils were first described in 1993 but a 2017 study published by UCLA and UW-Madison scientists used sophisticated chemical analysis to confirm the microscopic structures found in the rock are indeed biological, rendering them -- at 3.5 billion years -- the oldest fossils yet found. Credit Courtesy of J. William Schopf, UCLA Usage Restrictions None License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.