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Amber with insect and plant inclusions

Fly in Baltic amber

The most beautiful thing about amber is the enclosed flora and fauna. Manly insects, spiders and plant debris ended up in the resin when it was still soft and sticky. The uniqueness of these fossils is the condition in which they were kept. Unlike other fossils, the soft parts are still visible. Despite the fact that the enclosures are discoloured, science can still extract a great deal of information from the stones about the era in which the resin originated. Inclusions are not only found in Baltic amber, very nice specimens can also be found in pieces from Myanmar or the Dominican Republic. The Myanmar inclusions are the oldest in the World and go back to the time when the dinosaurs walked the Earth.

Time capsule

An amber stone that holds an insect can therefore be seen as a time capsule in which time stood still. Sometimes you even find insects caught in the act, and that already for million of years. imagine that! Besides insects it can also contain air bubbles. This is a valuable source of information about the composition and quality of the atmosphere at that time. Climatologists can get a lot of information from these air bubbles. In very rare occasions even prehistoric mammal hair is found. The Baltic region was populated by small hoofed mammals in that time. They are ancestors of our modern horses. You can find beautiful microscope recordings of amber inclusions here. Curious how our ancestors used it? Read our amber in history article.