Amberica West...........the place for the finest inclusions in Dominican amber (and other ambers).
Noteworthy Specimens: Coprolite..........if you know what that is, read on. This is a beautiful, spherical piece of Dominican amber. It is large, spherical and the coprolite is large. In fact it is large enough that I can confidently say that this is a mammalian coprolite (poop). Probably the finest I have ever seen, this is about .9 inches in diameter. A sure conversation piece, you cannot go wrong with this beauty.
Bottom line, this is really a cool piece.
This item is found on the Dominican amber page, number 11.
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
Largest Amber Deposits
The largest amber deposits are in the Baltic region. In particular, Poland and Russia have some of the most extensively 'mined' areas of amber anywhere. This amber was formed from the Paleogene forests in northern Europe.
Since amber is lighter than salt water, it will float in salt water. Fakes will often sink.
We just read where 'social parasitism' was thought to b e about 52 million years old. Now with the discovery of rove beetles in Burmese amber, it is now thought to be about 99 million years old. Here is a pdf of the article from Science News.
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.
New Flower Species
A Rutgers scientist has identified a flower trapped in ancient amber as belonging to a species completely new to science.
Lena Struwe, professor of botany in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, has discovered that two flowers found encased amber for at least 15 million years belong to none of the known 200 species of the genus Strychnos. Therefore, they represent a newly discovered species, Strychnos electri. Struwe coined the species name in honor of its amber origin, since elektron is the Greek word for amber.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-02-amber-species.html#jCp
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
Scientists discover an 'alien' insect in amber from 100 million years ago