128 pages, 62 colour photos and colour illustrations, colour tables
Fossils in amber provide a unique insight into the evolutionary history of arthropods (insects, spiders and their relatives), the most diverse and ecologically important group of animals on the planet today. The fossils provide direct evidence of many groups familiar to us now, living alongside extinct forms such as the dinosaurs. Furthermore, the fossils occur in staggering numbers and are represented by an exceptionally high diversity of extinct species. There can be little doubt that we are in a new technological era of research and with new deposits being discovered often there is a constant wealth of new material to work on and new ways in which we can do it.
There are many general books on amber, but none of them has focused on what we can actually do with the palaeontological data provided by these remarkable fossils. What can they tell us and how should we utilize them in order to extract the most reliable conclusions about the palaeoecology of the past ecosystems in which the organisms once lived? In Amber Palaeobiology, Dr David Penney, a world recognised authority on amber fossils, considers these issues based on his two decades of research experience at the cutting edge of amber palaeobiological studies. It should appeal to the general amber enthusiast in providing an appreciation of recent discoveries and also some of the difficulties involved in the study of amber fossils, in addition to upcoming and established amber researchers, in the hope that it may help promote new, more focused palaeobiological studies using amber derived data.
Palaeodiversity & New Amber Deposits
Newly discovered deposits
Important current research themes (previously known deposits)
The better studied deposits (Burmese, Baltic & Dominican ambers)
Microbes in Amber
New Imaging Techniques
Confocal laser scanning microscopy
Computer-generated imagery (CGI animation)
Quantifying the representative sample
Low taxonomic resolution palaeoecology
High taxonomic resolution palaeoecology
Combining amber & non-amber fossil data
Concluding thoughts on quantitative palaeoecology
Subfossils in Copal
A proxy for understanding taxonomic bias in amber
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