A Gallery of Amazing Fossils in Amber

ā€‹Amber is nature's archivist. It is a transparent organic stone, considered a gemstone, made of fossilized tree sap. When a drop of sap falls from the tree as liquid, it can trap insects, plants, and other tiny life forms which become perfectly preserved as the sap hardens. Of course, anyone who saw Jurassic Park is familiar with amber's preservative qualities. But besides capturing ancient creatures from millions of years ago, amber can also preserve what they were doing when the drop fell, giving us a glimpse of their behavior.

The fossil shown here contains a spider attacking a parasitic wasp, a battle preserved from around 100 million years ago. It could have been defensive behavior, as the wasp was likely attacking the spider's eggs. We are amazed that such everyday behavior happened to be an act that ended up being preserved in stone that we can see as clearly as it happened so long ago. See a collection of eleven striking fossils in amber that teach us about the prehistoric world at Gizmodo. 

(Image credit: OSU College of Science)

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