Definition of stromatolite in English:



  • A calcareous mound built up of layers of lime-secreting cyanobacteria and trapped sediment, found in Precambrian rocks as the earliest known fossils, and still being formed in lagoons in Australasia.

    • ‘Fossilized cyanobacterial mounds are called stromatolites.’
    • ‘At first sight, the Shark Bay stromatolites look like rocks lying in an orderly fashion in the intertidal zone.’
    • ‘The formation has yielded numerous fossils of stromatolites in addition to microfossils.’
    • ‘The oldest known fossils are the 3.5-billion-year-old stromatolites discovered in western Australia in 1980.’
    • ‘They may be calcareous sponges, cyanobacteria, or stromatolites.’


1930s: from modern Latin stroma, stromat- ‘layer, covering’ + -lite.