Dating amber fossils

Another spider from the same block shows us what might be the first remains of social behavior among spiders.


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The fossil was found in the Hukawng Valley and described scientifically by amber expert and entomologist Dr. He and Kentucky-based collector Ron Buckley published their find in the scientific journal Historical Biology in October Poinar also stated that while there have been finds of spiders and their prey caught in resin, there has never been an actual predator-prey interaction between the two. In this new specimen, the wasp was being actively attacked by the spider, as can be seen in the amber block. According the the scientific team, the wasp belonged to a parasitic genus that is still in existence today.

It is a Cascoscelio incassus, a member of a family of wasps that often parasitizes the eggs and young of spiders while the bristly orb-weaver is a species called Geratonephila burmanica. Even insects can have parasites, and one of the deadliest insect parasites is a kind of mite called Varroa that attacks bee and wasp species.

These tiny, somewhat furry mites have rounded bodies and run around at incredible speeds as they try to find hosts. These creatures are potent and powerful enough to bring down an entire colony of bees at times, spreading through the hive at an incredible speed. An ancient equivalent has also been discovered, one with habits similar to the Varroa mite, but instead of calmly sitting atop its host, this mite was caught in mid-attack. It was just 0. The describer of the amber fossil is Dr. He added that the mite was a member of the incredibly widespread Myrmozercon, a genus which is actually quite common even today.

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Its intended victim was an ant, identified as a Ctenobethylus goepperti by the team. The two animals were found in a block of Baltic amber from Saxony in East Germany, and parts of Russia.

This form of amber is called succinite, and often comes from pine resin. The Baltic is home to the most extensive of all amber deposits, and most date back to the Eocene, the same time as the parasitic mite and ant. A relative of spiders, a harvestman or daddy longlegs seems to have had another long appendage, this time not a leg through probably just as mobile when used correctly.

This new and somewhat prodigious finding was published in the journal The Science of Nature by Dunlop and his team. The little male arachnid was a genus named Halitherses grimaldii and its massively elongated penis with a heart-shaped tip is normal for most harvestmen. The genitalia of harvestmen are somewhat different from those of spiders, which often have jaw-based genitals in their pedipalps.

Dunlop believes that the daddy longlegs had a post-mortem erection, with blood flowing into its elongated penis just as it died and was covered in resin. Salamanders are absent from the Caribbean islands today. But one block of amber from this area preserves a salamander nonetheless. Not only that, but it had just gone through a rough spot in its life before succumbing to the viscous resin. One of its legs had been bitten off by an attacking predator before falling into a resin deposit, entombing it forever since the Early Miocene.

Even the tree from which the amber came from, is more closely related to East African trees rather than anything in the Caribbean. Thus the find may hold clues to how life on these islands evolved, with the current theory being that these little amphibians rafted onto the islands on floating logs and other forms of vegetation.

All these Caribbean salamanders may have gone extinct due to climatic change, says Poinar yet again, having published the find in the journal Paleodiversity. One of the strangest things ever to be entombed in resin is the act of sex between two flowering plants that actually date back to the earliest days of flowers in general.


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The diminutive flowers of the Cretaceous Micropetasos burmensis were discovered in a block from Hukawng Valley. He explains that the two plants are doing something very similar to modern flowers, with the anther or male part being inserted into the female part or the stigma. While both the male pollen tubes and female stigma have been found in amber previously, never has sex between plants been discovered, making this one a first in fossils.

Burmese amber continues to surprise us, now with the incredible find of numerous well-preserved lizards stuck in tree resin. There was not just one lizard found in the amber, not two or three but twelve of them in total. The specimens were all collected many years ago from a Hukawng amber mine but only now are the best specimens undergoing study.

The finds were described in the scientific journal Science Advances, by Edward Stanley, a University of Florida postdoctoral student in herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Micro CT-scans of the dime-sized reptiles showed him that he was looking at some of the first geckos and chameleons ever to exist.

how is amber dated?

The state in which they were preserved allowed for the presence of toe pads, teeth, claws and even the scales. Modern ants still tend aphids for the honey dew the aphids produce. Even if the dates imagined by evolutionists were correct it would show that ant behavior has not changed for millions of years. Bore accurately, ants have not involved.

Relative Dating

In Grimaldi and Dr. Donat Agosti found an ant in amber which they dated at 90 million years old. Something that ruins this picnic evolutionists had planned with amber is that million year old by evolutionist dating fossil ant nests have been found.


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  • A non-honeybee was found in and the amber was dated at million years old. Many headlines claimed the find supported the transition from wasp to bees.

    Trapped in time: The top 10 amber fossils

    It should be noted that the bee was purchased from an amber dealer. Basically it had some leg features similar to wasps. New types of live insects are discovered daily. The insect inclusions, just of themselves, are wonderful, but the insects have amazing inclusins within themselves. Bacteria, from insect abdomens, were revived in Some argued that it was modern contamination.

    The researcher responded that he has taken ample precautions to prevent contamination. Amber really gets amazing when DNA is considered. In Poinar and his wife, an electron microscopist found DNA in an amberized fly. Poinar thought the amber might be about 40 million years old.

    Later on that year Poinar announced the extraction of DNA from a weevil found in believed to be million years old.. They believe the DNA-containing tissue has survived for so long because the sugars and alcohols in the resin prohibit microbial growth. And the preservation happens quickly.

    Amber prevents growth of microbes and dries out the creatures to sort of mummify them. The publicity about obtaining DNA from insects found in amber was integral in the plot of the movie Jurassic Park. In reality, scientists have only extracted a tiny amount of DNA then those fragments were amplified by a molecular copying process using a process known as polymerse chain reaction PCR. There are tremendous obstacles blocking making a dinosaur from dinosaur blood found in an amberized mosquito.

    They admit that the mountain ranges holding most of the Domican amber were formed 10 to 25 thousand years ago. Poinar with these questions: How does one piece of amber differ from another regarding factors that signify the age of amber? Then I contacted four other experts with these questions: Is it through chemical, radioactive, fossil contents, or strata? Butterflies, almost identical to living butterflies, were dated at about 25 million years. But, evidence from plate tectonics puts them at a time of million years.

    Scientists are compelled to consider that no evolution occurred for tens of millions of years. The Institute for Creation Research states that creationists have been requesting that the amber inclusions be submitted for Carbon 14 dating. The presence of these marine organisms in the amber is an ecological paradox. So, evolutionists have all kinds of problems with amber.

    Some articles came out shortly after I posted this article. In an amberized web was found and declared to be million years old.