The world’s oldest bilological colour is pink

Earth's oldest biological colour discovered in rocks beneath Sahara Desert

World's oldest colours shed light on mystery of life on Earth

The pigments they have discovered are 1.1 billion years old and are bright pink.

As part of the research, the billion-year-old rocks were crushed to powder and the molecules of ancient organisms were extracted and analyzed.

"It turned out to be real pigment, 1.1 billion-years-old".

Gueneli and her ANU team led the study, with support from Geoscience Australia and researchers in the U.S. and Japan.

While chlorophyll itself is green, these building blocks tend to come in strong shades of reds and purples - hence why this latest fossilised pigment comes in pink.

"The bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished", Gueneli said in a statement.

This handout photo taken on June 19, 2018 by the Australian National University (ANU) shows biogeochemistry lab manager Janet Hope from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences holding a vial of coloured porphyrins, a pink coloured liquid, in Canberra.

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"These pink pigments, their exact structure and composition tells us there was an efficient energy food source missing at the base of the food web", he said.

This could help to explain why animals did not exist at the time, according to the researchers.

Her reaction to seeing colors produced by organisms that lived more than a billion years ago? Some researchers have found evidence that oxygen concentrations on Earth, most created by cyanobacteria, just weren't high enough to support life until that point, which would explain why life stayed single-cell for so long.

"Algae, although still microscopic, are a thousand times larger in volume than cyanobacteria, and are a much richer food source", Jochen Brocks, also from ANU's earth sciences school, said. Prof Brocks said this contributed to understanding on the evolution of life forms on Earth. In fact, the ancient oceans that were once dominated by the cyanobacterial started to disappear when algae became prevalent.

While our planet is 4.6 billion years old, these animal-like beasts and other large things like seaweed emerged only 600 million years ago, he told The Guardian.

The team of researchers from Australia, Japan and the US also were able to use the pigments to confirm that ancient marine ecosystems were dominated by tiny cyanobacteria, a type of bacteria that obtains energy through photosynthesis.

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