Microfossils up to almost 4.3 billion years old found in Canada of microbes are similar to the bacteria that thrive today around sea floor hydrothermal vents and may represent the oldest-known evidence of life on Earth, scientists said on Wednesday. The fossils from the Hudson Bay shoreline in northern Quebec near the Nastapoka Islands lend credence to the hypothesis that hydrothermal vents spewing hot water may have been the cradle of life on Earth relatively soon after the planet formed, the researchers said.

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