It represents a fossil resin
that came from some pine tree species (Pinus succinifera).
"The insects trapped in the fossil resin
cast a new light on the history of the sub-continent," said Jes Rust, professor of Invertebrate Paleontology at the UniversitEnt Bonn in Germany.
While rather abundant in the upper portions of the fossil record, amber (sometimes called fossil resin
) is very rare throughout most of the fossil record and is unknown in rocks prior to the Devonian, which is notably when the first tree-like plants capable of producing resin are found in the fossil record.
Sigmar Polke's long-standing fascination with amber, or Bernstein, was reflected in a recent exhibition of ten double-sided paintings (five new, five dating from 1989) plus two single-sided paintings (both from 1989) that simulate the fossil resin
's look, juxtaposed with three dozen rare Renaissance and Baroque amber objects, including several raw, unworked chunks of the material that are between thirty million and fifty million years old.
A new fossil resin with biological inclusions in Lower Cretaceous deposits from Alava (northern Spain, Basque-Cantabrian basin).
Undiscovered extant species are considered unlikely because of their frequent occurrence in Cretaceous ambers and their absence in Tertiary fossil resins. One aim of this paper is to bring the existence of this family to the attention of neo-arachnologists.
However, it is only within the last few years that new descriptions of Cretaceous amber spiders have been published, for example in fossil resins of Turonian age from New Jersey (Penney 2002, 2004a), Barremian age from the Isle of Wight (Selden 2002), Upper Neocomian-basal Lower Aptian age from Lebanon (Penney & Selden 2002; Penney 2003a; Wunderlich & Milki 2004 [not 2001 as cited by Poinar & Milki 2001]), Albian age from Myanmar (Penney 2003b, 2004b) and Campanian age from Canada (Penney 2004c).
Amber, Resinites, and Fossil Resins
. American Chemical Society, Symposium series 617.
Crelling, Eds., Amber, Resinite and Fossil Resins
, American Chemical Society Symposium Series, 617, Washington D.C., 92-104, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bk-1995-0617.
One of the few organic materials that may preserve reliable data of Earth's geological history over millions of years are fossil resins