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Amber: The Natural Time Capsule

Popular Science

Series: Natural History Museum Earth Science Publications

By: Andrew Ross

112 pages, Col photos, illus

London Natural History Museum

Paperback | Feb 2010 | Edition: 2 | #184635 | ISBN-13: 9780565092580
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx

About this book

Amber is a remarkable substance that originates from the resin of trees that lived millions of years ago. Anything that became trapped in this sticky resin was fossilized and perfectly preserved. The insects and other inclusions found in amber today are providing scientists with unique insights into the history of life on Earth.

In this new edition of "Amber", Andrew Ross provides an engaging overview of this prehistoric substance and its fossilized inclusions. The book explains how amber is formed, where it is found and how to distinguish genuine amber from fakes. It describes its many uses, both in art and science, and recounts the elusive search for DNA from fossilized insects. Detailed keys and stunning photographs, including previously unseen pieces of Burmese amber from the Museum's collections, guide the reader in the identification of species of insects and other amber inclusions.


What is amber?; the properties of amber; fake amber; the uses of amber; where is amber found; Baltic amber; Dominican amber; what is a species?; amber inclusions; animal interaction; plant inclusions; the search for DNA; biogeography; arthropods; the insect fossil record; insects; incomplete metamorphosis; incomplete metamorphosis - bugs; complete metamorphosis; complete metamorphosis - flies; wasps, bees and ants; beetles.

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Andrew Ross is currently Principal Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeobotany at the National Museums Scotland.

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