Tuesday, May 10, 2011


En route from Kalbarri to Monkey Mia, we stopped in a tiny place called Hamelin.  The Marine Nature Reserve is a part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site.

This site is known for some ancient lumps of rock called "stromatolites."  These stromatolites are concretions of cyanobacteria which are living fossils.  These are descendents of some of the oldest forms of photosynthetic life on the planet.  Evolutionary biologists believe that similar life forms generated the oxygen of early Earth's atmosphere many years before plants developed.  At Hamelin Pool, you can see the oxygen bubbling to the surface.

Hamelin Pool is one of the few places where stromatolites still occur.  This pool is particularly suitable for stromatolites becasue the salinity is about twice the concentration of the ocean.  This prevents competition from other organisms and allows these ancient life forms to exist.

A very beautiful place with some fascinating creatures.

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