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Cuatro Cienegas 1

Image of Cuatro Cienegas 1
CUATRO CIÉNEGAS: This image shows one of the many unique pools that make up the biological reserve of Cuatro Ciénegas (English translation: “Four Marshes”), located in the Región Desierto of the Mexican state of Coahuila. In addition to the extreme diversity of plant and animal life protected by the reserve, many of the pools contain living colonies of microbial mats similar to stromatolites, structural records of ancient life on Earth. These colonies, as they grow, incorporate sediments and sand from the water to create rocky, dome-shaped structures. They provide astrobiologists with a living laboratory in which to study the origin of life on Earth. Image Credit: Ariel Anbar
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