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

New Jersey 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, with the best known occurrences being those from Lebanon, France, Burma and New Jersey (USA). This small collection contains examples from New Jersey. They come from the Raritan Formation (Turonian, ca 90 Ma), excavated (from lignite occurring 6 to 10 feet below the surface) by Jon Stanislawczyk, at a locality near Sayreville, New Jersey, USA. The amber was produced by a forest of Cupressaceae in a warm temperate or sub-tropical environment (Grimaldi et al. 2000).
New Jersey amber spider 4mm. Fangs clearly visible, pedipalps tucked under head. New Jersey amber spider 4mm. Fangs clearly visible, pedipalps tucked under head. New Jersey tumbling flower beetle (mordellidae), 1.5 mm New Jersey tumbling flower beetle (mordellidae), 1.5 mm
New Jersey 6mm wasp New Jersey 6mm wasp detail, note ocelli New Jersey 6mm wasp New Jersey 4mm winged insect. Caddisfly?
New Jersey 4mm winged insect. Caddisfly? New Jersey wasp (Hymenoptera, Serphitidae?), 1 mm, with bubble Thrips (Thysanoptera), 1.5 mm, in New Jersey amber Detail of thrips wing
New Jersey female coccoid scale insect (3 mm) with tiny male New Jersey female coccoid scale insect (3 mm) with tiny male New Jersey wasp on stalactite Drawing of the New Jersey wasp trapped on a stalactite of amber
New Jersey bethylid or scolebythid wasp, 3 mm,  on amber stalactite New Jersey bethylid or scolebythid wasp, 3 mm,  on amber stalactite New Jersey larva, 1.5 mm New Jersey larva, 1.5 mm
New Jersey male coccoid, 1 mm New Jersey male coccoid, 1 mm New Jersey midge with feathery antennae. New Jersey midge with feathery antennae.