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Stromatolites and their close cousins the thrombolites, are rock-like buildups of microbial mats that form in limestone- or dolostone-forming environments.

This definition is, in fact, such a gross oversimplification as be scientifically useless.Microbial communities diversified through time, with eukaryotic organisms eventually joining the mix.Excluding some exceedingly rare Precambrian fossils such as the Russian White Sea Ediacaran fauna, stromatolites and thare the only fossils encoding the first 7/8th of the history of life on earth.In broad terms, stromatolites are fossil evidence of the prokaryotic life that remains today, as it has always been, the preponderance of biomass in the biosphere.For those that subscribe to the theory of the living earth, it is the prokaryotes that maintain the homeostasis of the earth, rendering the biosphere habitable for all other life.

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New stromatolite localities have continued to be discovered in various places such as the Bahamas, the Indian Ocean and Yellowstone National Park, to name but a few localities.

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