One thing that makes Baltic Amber a scientific phenomenon is the fact that some amber pieces contain actual fossils of insects and plants because they get trapped in the resin during fossilization. These insect and plant fossils date back over 45+ million years! Such inclusions also give us an idea as to the age of the amber.
Although the inclusions vary, the most common one found in Baltic Amber is the two-winged “true flies” from the order Dipera. It appears that these insects may be the original ancestor of the same gnats we battle today. These fungus insects are also species of the superfamily, Sciaroidea, and are consistent with the rotting, decaying fungus vegetation of the forest where amber’s tree resin was fossilized. Given the size of the forest, this bug population was well fed for such a long time!
Examining natural amber has led to remarkable discoveries of our ancient Earth. A close examination–with the naked eye or a magnifying glass–may reveal some insects and plants frozen in time. If you do have a special piece, you are in for a treat! Perhaps this is how the inspiration was intended to be portrayed for the original Jurassic Park movie. So, take a close look at your amber from Amber by Amanda to see what’s in your time capsule from so many years ago. (And, if you do find a piece of history in your amber, share it with us on Twitter @AmberByAmanda.)