Rare find in local Blue Ridge gravel mine:
What? Virginia Museum of Natural History scientists have confirmed that an approximately 500 million-year-old stromatolite was recently discovered at the Boxley Blue Ridge Quarry. These rare fossils are among the earliest evidence for living things.
When: The stromatolite will be on display for the media at the Boxley Blue Ridge Quarry on Monday, June 30 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Scientists from the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Boxley will be available to answer questions about the fossil and plans for its future.
Why: Although fragments and sections of stromatolites are fairly common, it is very rare for a whole stromatolite “head” to be collected intact. This specimen is the first-ever intact stromatolite head found in Virginia, and is one of the largest complete “heads” in the world. Stromatolites are among the earliest known life forms, and are important in helping scientists understand more about environments that existed in the past.
Who: Virginia Museum of Natural History
Tim Gette, Executive Director
Dr. Jim Beard, Assistant Director of Research and Collections, and Curator of Earth Sciences
Dr. Alton Dooley, Assistant Curator of Paleontology
Tom Roller, Geologist
Stromatolite is a viewed as a powerful crystal (or as a rock) by many New Age enthusiasts and formed from ancient blue green algae.