New stromatolite localities have continued to be discovered in various places such as the Bahamas, the Indian Ocean and Yellowstone National Park, to name but a few localities.
Stromatolites occur throughout the world, but become diminishingly uncommon in the Archaean.
It does contain a modicum of truth, however, in that the largest volume of stromatolitic formations was likely formed by biogenic processes involving photosynthetic cyanobacteria.
Just how and when the base of the tree of life split into the three main branches remains one of the most important questions in all of biology and science, and is the source of constant scientific dispute.
Which of the prokaryotes came first, the Archaeans or the Eubacteria remains unresolved, and a consensus has emerged that these primitive microorganisms laterally exchanged genes further confounding attempts to validate what begat what during to course of early evolution on earth.
Lateral gene transfer belies the concept of the single common ancestor (see Woese, 1998).
While formation by colonies of cyanobacteria is probably the primary mechanism for formation of surviving stromatolites in the deep time of the Archaean and half way through the Proterozoic, it is unlikely to have been the only mechanism.
So too have many Stromatolites from the Proterozoic.
Production of stromatolites has been relatively minor during the Phanerzoic Eon with its entirely different reef ecosystems.
They maintain and recycle the atomic ingredients of which proteins, the essence of life, are made, including oxygen, nitrogen and carbon.
We humans are, in simple terms, bags of water filled with proteins and prokaryotic bacteria (the bacteria in your body outnumber the cells in your body about 10 to 1).
The figure indicates the paucity of localities where finding the oldest fossils exists. As previously noted, stromatolites are most often described as biogenically-produced structures formed by colonies of photosynthesizing cyanobacteria.