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Amberica West...........the place for the finest inclusions in Dominican amber (and other ambers).  

Possibly the finest specimens of a fly that I have ever seen, Diptera, Brachycera.  This fly is perfect, there is even a wing pattern that is easily seen.  On a 24 million year specimen, you just do not see wing patterns.  Everything else about this piece is quality.  The fly is large, all details are just remarkable, even the scales on the wings. This is truly a museum specimen.  There is even a small primitive fly, Nematocera right next to the giant to give you a perspective.

Bottom line, this is really a cool piece.

This item is found on the Chiapas amber page,  number 2.

Mantids: Order Orthoptera. Mantids (or mantis) are characterized by their lengthened thorax (chest) and a head that can turn 180 degrees. These are so rare in amber that they are prized by collectors. This is a beautiful piece of Mexican (Chiapas) amber that contains a juvenile praying mantis. So seldom are they seen - even rarer is a perfect one that is displayed like this magnificent beauty. The amber is about 2 inches x 1.5 x .3 inches. Very clear and has one of the best praying mantises that I have ever seen. The mantis is a bit over .25 inches and fully extended. This is really a special piece.  There is also part of a leaf and a messed up worker ant.  Go to the Chiapas amber page and read about this beautiful and rare piece of amber.  It is number 18 on the page.

Madagascar copal is not rare, although it is not commonly found for sale.  What is rare is a real lizard for sale. This lizard is a gecko, about 1.5 inches long.  We know that this is hard to believe, but it is real.  The lizard is full and complete, showing great details of skin.....just amazing.  This is from the Pliocene Epoch (which is about 2.58 to 5.33 million years ago).  It is not considered amber, but copal.  This is a particularly fine specimen.  We just picked this up from a French antiquities dealer in Poland.  It is really a good piece at a great price.  Go here to see the pictures.

Interesting Facts About Amber

Ant with Mite on it's Head

Somewhere in what is now the Baltic region, around 44–49 million years ago, an ant was parasitized by a species of mite and then wandered into a pool of resin, preserving both forever. They ended up in the hands of a German amateur amber collector named Jorg Wunderlich, who passed the chunk of amber on to Jason Dunlop, an arachnologist at the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science in Berlin. Amazingly, the find is one of two known examples of fossilized mites preserved while actually attached to their host.

The mite, identified by Dunlop as belonging to the genus Myrmozercon, sits atop the ant’s head, where it would have been able to feed as needed. The mite probably also laid its eggs on the ant’s head, providing its young with transport to new hosts as the hapless ant moved through the colony.

Amber  Floats

Since amber is lighter than salt water, it will float in salt water. Fakes will often sink.

Baby Bird

Insects are not the only creatures that got stuck in amber during the time of the dinosaurs. Bits of ancient birds and dinosaurs have been found too – and now the most complete bird yet has been found.  Here is a pdf of the article from the New Scientist.

News   Flash:

Dominican Republic Halts Amber Extraction (Oct 2016)

Santiago.-  Environment Ministry officials accompanied by military personnel on Thursday halted all extraction of the semiprecious stone amber, to prevent further ecological damage at the Septentrional (northern) range.

The full article can be found here.

Wieslaw Giertowsk

A picture of the late Wieslaw Giertowsk in Poland and Doug Lundberg.  Mr. Giertowsk is probably one of the most respected amber individuals in the world.

Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber

The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar.  The full article is found at the BBC.

The stunning discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years.

Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside.

The tail is described in the journal Current Biology.

Specials of the Week

For amber specials, go here:  http://www.ambericawest.com/amber_specials.html
and
http://www.ambericawest.com/baltic_specials

Scientists discover an 'alien' insect in amber from 100 million years ago

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