As geological processes create and metamorphose Earth rocks and minerals, life radiates (multiple species diverge from common ancestors). New protoctist species evolve, each with their own special mineral interests. Some of these microbes produce their own minerals (biomineralization), using them in diverse and creative ways.
Bacteria learned long ago, for example, to make magnetite, which they use for compass orientation in muds and shallows. Although still in early development, the protoctists display manufactured minerals in a variety of styles unmatched by other kingdoms of life.
University of Montana--Missoula. Environmental Studies Program
© 1997 Stiftung Drittes Millennium
Digital File Format
Digital Image Number
Liebes, Sid; Mittelstadt, Laurie; Waugh, Barbara; and Brynes, Lois, "Panel 45: Mini-Mineral Marvels" (1997). A Walk Through Time - From Stardust To Us. 45.