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hajar | profile | all galleries >> Amber Galleries >> Burmese Cretaceous Amber tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Burmese Cretaceous Amber

Amber is in some ways the best preserving medium of fossil plants and animals known. The fossils are preserved in three dimensions, with great surface detail, and allow snapshots of interactions between animals - such as an ectoparasitic mite sucking the haemolymph of its victim, a swarm of nematodes parasitizing a beetle, acts of mating, and an ant queen carrying her domesticated honeydew provider. No other style of exceptional fossil preservation can compare.

The oldest ambers with included animal fossils date back to the Cretaceous (though now in 2012 there's a single Triassic case), with the best known occurrences being those from Lebanon, France, Burma and New Jersey (USA). This small collection contains examples from Burma. They are of earliest Cenomanian (a little less than 100 Ma) age and come from Main Khun, Tanai Township, Kachin State, Burma. Burmese amber was formed by a conifer, perhaps Metasequoia, in a tropical palaeoenvironment (Grimaldi et al 2002).
2 mm Sporocarp of Palaeoclavaria burmitis Poinar & Brown 2003 Detail of Palaeoclavaria burmitis sporocarp. Note reticulated cuticular surface as described by Grimaldi et al. (2002). 2 mm Sporocarp of Palaeoclavaria burmitis Poinar & Brown 2003 Moss (Bryophyta), 4 mm long, with beetle, in Burmese amber Leaf, 2 mm, in Burmese amber 3 mm angiosperm flower in Burmese amber
Land snail. Land snail. Land snail. Worm in Burmese amber, 1 mm, possibly an oligochaete Polyxenid millipede (the numerous legs rule out dermestid beetle larva!) in Burmese amber, 4 mm. Polyxenid, remarkably caught in the act of moulting, in Burmese amber. One of a swarm.
Spider, 3 mm, in Burmese amber Spider, 3 mm in Burmese amber Springtails (Collembola), the largest is 2 mm long, in Burmese amber Springtail (Collembola), 2 mm, in Burmese amber A remarkable complete Cretaceous mantis, about 27 mm long. This is a female individual. Beetle (Coleoptera, Mordellidae?) in Burmese amber, about 1 mm
Beetle (Coleoptera) in Burmese amber, 1.5 mm Rove beetle (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) in Burmese amber, 1.5 mm 9 mm beetle. 4 mm scaley beetle in Burmese amber Cockroach, 4 mm in Burmese amber Owlfly larva, 3 mm.
Neuroptera (Berothidae), 7 mm, and small cecidomyiid midge in Burmese amber Scale insect (Coccoidea), 1 mm, in Burmese amber Unique-headed bug (Enicocephalidae), 2 mm, in association with club fungus Paleoclavaria burmitis and a beetle (not shown) Unique-headed bug (Enicocephalidae), 2 mm, in association with club fungus Paleoclavaria burmitis and a beetle (not shown) Barklouse (Psocoptera), 3 mm in Burmese amber Aleyrodoidea (white fly), 2 mm in Burmese amber
Ant Burma Ant in Cretaceous amber, 8 mm, Myanmar. Ant with very elongate jaws. The individual resin flow event that trapped this ant is clearly seen. Wasp (Hymenoptera, Scelionidae), 1 mm in Burmese amber (my very first piece of Burmese amber). 2mm wasp (Hymenoptera, Scelionidae) in Burmese amber Hymenoptera, 1 mm, in Burmese amber
Hymenoptera (pompilidae?) in Burmese amber, about 3 mm long Hymenoptera, 2 mm, in Burmese amber Fairyfly, a tiny parasitoid chalcid wasp Nematocera, male fungus gnat or gall midge, 3 mm in Burmese amber detail detail
Biting midge (Ceratopogonidae), 3 mm in Burmese amber. Similar to Culicoides grandibocus which may have fed on dinosaurs. Nematocera, 3 mm, in Burmese amber Female non-biting midge (Nematocera, Chironomidae), 1.5 mm, in Burmese amber Nematocera releasing eggs Burmacyrtus rusmithi Grimaldi & Hauser 2011, acrocerid fly, 2 mm, in Burmese amber Fly with large mouthparts (Brachycera, Rhagionidae), 3 mm, in Burmese amber.
Snipe fly (Brachycera, Rhagionidae) in Burmese amber, part of a swarm of several indviduals Burma acari Mite (Acari) in Burmese amber, <1mm Oribatid mite (Acari), 1 mm, in Burmese amber Mite (Acari) with tiny attached tortoise mite in Burmese amber Mite (Acari) in Burmese amber, <1mm