"The oldest fossil evidence of life on land has been discovered in Australian rocks, potentially extending the known era of land-based life by over 500 million years.
Ancient deposits from a hot spring in Western Australia's Pilbara region were found to contain minerals created by microbes, and researchers from the University of NSW were able to show that the deposits were created by land-based hot springs, rather than in the ocean. The extraordinary finding suggests the earliest life may have actually originated in the hot springs on land, rather than in thermal vents deep in the ocean. It also has implications for the search for evidence of ancient life on Mars, because the Dresser Formation in the Pilbara region where the deposits were found shares some characteristics with Martian rock sites." From Oldest evidence of life on land discovered in Australia