04 November 2008

Resin and amber

Recently Fred and I watched a film about amber and the insects and other creatures that get trapped in it (David Attenborough's 'The Amber Time Machine'). Amber is a resin produced by some trees which has hardened over a period of millions of years. The creatures are trapped on the sticky resin when it is first produced by the tree, and they are then preserved in perfect condition within the amber. They can tell us a lot about the conditions at the time when the resin was produced.

Today we were walking through the forest and found a tree which was producing a large amount of resin. We thought it would be interesting to see if any creatures were trapped in the resin.

We were amazed to find quite a collection of creatures. In this picture, to the left there are two spiders plus part of a third, and to the right there are two small insects which look like a mite and an ant.

Perhaps such creatures will be found in amber millions of years in the future.

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