High Quality (and rare)

Chiapas Amber

This is the fabled Chiapas amber from the Mayan mines in Chiapas, Mexico. It is fairly difficult to get a hold of and is highly prized for its impressive color and transparency. You can find reds, blues, greens and of course amber colors. This is real color, not like altered Baltic amber. This is quite a find and not seen often! You can do just about anything you want with this amber. My suggestion is for jewelry - the depth of color is seldom seen in any amber from anywhere else!

We have actually culled many of these pieces from the other pages in the web site of  our Chiapas amber so the more expensive (and usually higher quality) are assembled together.

Item 1

Rare is an understatement.  A nice sized chunk of amber (about 2 x 1 x 1 inches) with a feather.  the feather is unusual since the barb structure is not what I expect in birds.  Even though I suspect it is a bird and not a dinosaur feather.  The feather is situated in a diagonal layout.  It is almost 1 inch in size and can be  seen without a microscope.    There is a uniformity to the barb structure without the 'minor barbs' that are so often presentImpressive to think that this is from a bird that dies 20 million years ago.  It goes without saying that feathers are as rare as hen's teeth.

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Item 2

I must admit, this is not a real expensive piece - but the cool factor outweighs that.  I cannot put this on a 'normal' page.  It is just so unique.  This has a spiders web inside.  The web part is so easy to see, you can even see the cross-webbing in it.  I love this piece!    The are two insects in it (although not entangled in the web).  One is a primitive fly, Diptera, Nematocera and the other is a wasp.  Just a unuaual piece with such  good web from a spider.

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Item 3

This one caused me a sleepless night in order to ID it.  It’s a planthopper bug (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea), probably belonging to the family Tropiduchidae. Not a huge piece, but big enough to show the wings spread.  Unusual and rare.

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Item 4

Dragonfly, Odonata.  Dragonflies are large and rest with their wings outstretched.  Dragonflies are extremely rare in amber.  They are seldom seen and  are highly prized when found.   There is part of what looks like a curled leaf near the head You can see the eyes, part of the head is not there (imprint is, not the organic portion). The wings are beautiful and seem curled to the body.  By the way, this is an amazing price for such a rare animal.


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Item 5

This is a large piece of amber. It weighs about 64 grams and is about 2 X 2 X 1 inch. Inside is a treasure of botanical specimens. You can find many stamens, leaves with visible surface structures and much more. If you like botanical specimens, this one is irresistible. A large piece that you can put on your desk as a sample of Chiapas amber with plant parts. A great discussion starter.

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Item 6

Hard to believe, but this is real.  It is a terrestrial snail in Chiapas amber.   My guess is that this is a Spiraxis snail .  A birds may have seized the snail and then lit it drop into the resin.   This is a round piece, almost .5 inches in diameter.  Snails are VERY rare and seldom seen in amber.   On top of that, the sphere as a presentation piece is even better.  By the way, there is a headless ant - probably done during a 'war'.

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Item 7

Large and very special.  This is way over 1.5 kilograms - about 4 pounds of matrix.  The amber is a red color, the most rare in Mexican amber.  The coolest thing (and most unusual) are the shells on the outside of the piece.  Look carefully and you will see a boat load of shells.  Very seldom does one see shells associated with amber.  This is a great piece.  Enjoy the pictures.

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Item 8

I love this piece.  Here is a worker ant that no one in their right minds would bother.  The jaws on this guy are just plain impressive.  This is a trap door ant, Hymenoptera, Formicidae:Ponerinae.   Trap door ants have jaws that will close at 145 mpg.  These ants are rarely found in amber, an even rarely found in such good shape - this one is perfect.  There is a nice piece of wood near the head of this defender ant.

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Item 9

Mayfly, Order Ephemeroptera.  Mayflies are characterized by protruding eyes.  They have 2 or 3 long hair like tails and strong forewings.  Mayfly adults (this is an adult) enjoy a life span of no more than two days.  On the transition from nymph to adult stage, they fly from the surface of the water for mating , but do not feed.  Fossils of mayflies are very rarely found in amber.  While there are a bunch of other insects, gnats, flies and so on, the mayfly is the special one in this piece.

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Item 10

This is a big chunk of amber.  It weighs 42 grams and man is it loaded.  By far, the biggest ticket item is the Whip-scorpion, Order Amblypygi.  It is a large animal in this amber, not only large, but VERY rare. Its first pair of legs are thin and long as a whip; little is known about their function.  If you are a whip-scorpion expert, you might be able to ID this animal by the pedipalpal patella: they are unusual, even for this rare animal.  The animal is abut 3/4 inch long.  Tailless whip-scorpions have a normal habitat in the tropical rain forests, they are rarely ever found in amber.  But there is even more here.  Off on the other side is a large cricket and near the cricket is the head of an ant who must have been in a battle.....and lost.  There is what looks like the remains of a spider and  some more remains that I cannot identify. Also there are a few other ants, different species.  One of which has the thinnest and longest legs I have ever seen.  There is the back end of a silverfish. If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a very special piece of amber, large with very rare animals. 



Item 11

I sometimes find in amazing what is really found in amber.  Here is a piece with a lot of mammalian hair.  Looks like a rather good sized tuft of hair was yanked out of the mammal when it brushed up against the tree (and pulled away from the tree).

In addition to all the hair follicles, there are a bunch of animals in the amber.  Looks like a planthopper, Homoptera, Fulgoridea next to the hair.  There are some springtails in the hair.  The springtails are large, not like the normal small ones.  Not far away is a half dozen or more of tropical stingless bees, Hymenoptera,  Apidae:Melipodidae.  On the bees, you can even see the facets of the eyes.  They are beautiful.

There is even a biting midge, Diptera, Chironopdidae,  what may be a pleasing fungus beetle, Coleoptera, Erotylidae, an unknown beetle larvae and a lot more (even has a fungus gnat).  This is a large piece of amber 2 inches x 1.5 x 1 inch,  44 grams is weight.

A beautiful piece that will be cherished since it tells such an interesting story and is in such good shape.  By the way, this is priced very well, you will never find a better and/or cheaper specimen.

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Item 12

Impressive. One does not find, commonly, such a beautiful specimen. The amber is clear, the animal is large and you can see patterns on the wings and the details are just perfect. A fantastic specimen. This is a planthopper, in the family Nogodinidae, genus Biolleyana. They have membranous wings with delicate venation and can be confused with members of other Fulgoroid families such as the Issidae and Tropiduchidae. Some authors treat it as a subfamily of the Issidae. This is quite the specimen. It is as fine a piece as one can get.

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Item 13

Chiapas Amber

As if anything preserved in Amber as a fossil is not phenomenal enough, finding a true rarity as a primary inclusion is very special. This simply amazing offering consists of a relatively tiny example of the inky cap showing the gills,  family of mushrooms displayed permanently in a small, golden specimen weighing a mere 1.79 grams. On an ancient forest floor, mushrooms flourished amid lichens and mosses with clusters of the fungi variety bearing fruiting structures likely lasting only a short time - just long enough for them to 'release' spores. Located near the periphery of the wedge-shaped piece of fossilized tree resin, the unlikely and intriguing prehistoric remnant is captivating and quite surreal. Any Amber collector would find this one irresistible.
Measurements: 0.72 x 0.69 x 0.31 inches (1.82 x 1.75 x 0.78 cm)

Try as you may, you will never see another mushroom up for sale.  It seems that since they are soooo rare, every mushroom is worth a write up in any scientific journal.  and this one is so good.

In the forest floor, here and there among the lichens and mosses flourished mushrooms and strange branching clusters of fungi know as dead man's fingers.  The fruiting structures of these fungi probably never lasted for more than a day or two, just long enough for them to release spores.  This tiny mushroom is probably one of the smallest members of the inky cap family,  It probably was clustered together with others of its kind on the bark of the algarrobo tree.

Mushrooms are just so rare that I never thought I would have one up for sale- not to mention that this is a beautiful specimen.

Here is a scanned image of the mushroom next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.

Hard to believe, but the price on this rare, rare specimen is fantastic (to the good).



Item 14

There are only 50 or 60 amber scorpions in the world today.  The picture above shows one of the most beautiful scorpions ever found, with slightly open pincers and a raised stinger that presents a perfect picture.  Its body is about .7 inches long.  Before mating, the male and female engage their pincers and move back and forth as if dancing.  When the male drops its sperm capsule, the female picks it up and keeps it for fertilization.  You specimens are often carried on the back of the mothers until they become mature.

Probably family Buthidae, this specimen is seen best from the ventral side.  This is as rare as they get and it is priced as an unbelievable deal for anyone.


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Item 15

Sometimes you buy things on a whim and do not even know exactly what they are - here it is.  I originally purchased this thinking it was a specimen of a shipworm.  This is a rather rare for of a lithophage that feed a hard substrate as they often bore into wood.  Now, looking at this carefully, I am not so sure what it is.  I do know that this is one heck of a specimen, no matter what it turns out to be.  Here is a short movie of the piece.

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Item 16

Mantids (or mantis) are characterized by a lengthened thorax (chest) and a head that can turn 180 degrees.  They typically carry their barbed front legs in an attack position.  It looks like a praying position, giving them the nickname "praying mantis."  They could very well be called "praying mantis" because they are fierce and fearless, attacking prey from insects to small animals like lizards.  The female often devours the male after mating; this also occurs between nymphs.  They are very rare in amber and prized by collectors.

The amber is clear and about 1.25 x 1  x .5 inches.  The mantis is just off center.  The mantis has beautiful features, you can see the facets of the eye (microscope) and the entire body very well. On the other side of the mantis is a fungus gnat, Diptera: Mycetophylidae.  Also there is a medium sized spider.

Here is a scanned image of the praying mantis next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.

Insect Order Phasmida (the stick or leaf insects) is believed to have appeared in the Lower Triassic and is one of the most interesting Orders in Subphylum Insecta. They are a poignant example of the innovation of natural selection in creating stealth for survival. They typically are either stick-like or leaf-like in appearance, (this one is a stick)  a camouflage or mimicry that is their common characteristic; many will also play possum for hours. "Phasmid" is derived from the Latin term for phantom (phasma), and finding them in the wild can be very difficult for even an experienced collector. You might correctly guess then, that fossil Phasmida are exceedingly rare -- hence the paucity of specimens. They do not have their hindlegs adapted for jumping as in the closely related order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets and relatives). Unlike many insects, they make superb pets. A phasmid will usually live from one to two years, depending on the species. Sexual dimorphism is usually extreme with diminutive males. Some species are completely or partially parthenogenetic. They extend their evolutionary stealth to their eggs that are large and often closely resemble plant seeds This allows the females to lay viable eggs without a mate; indeed there are some species in which males are unknown to exist. Some 2500 species of Phasmids are extant.


Item 17

Mosquitoes are exceedingly rare in amber.  I find mosquitoes maybe 2 times a year.  They are just so rare that I never expect to find any in the many thousands of pieces that I run across.

If you have ever cut down a pine tree and noticed the beautiful smell that emanates from cut surface, you will understand why so many insects are attracted by the odor.  Mosquitoes are not attracted to the smell, the go for carbon dioxide and heat.  Because of that you will not find mosquitoes in amber.  When you do run across the exceptional piece that has a mosquito, it has been caught in the resin  by happen chance, not by design.

In this piece there is a perfect female mosquito (family Culicidae) and a male (possible genus of Culex).  Both sexes have a proboscis, which the males (and sometimes females) use for obtaining plant juices, but the females are blood suckers.  You can ID the mosquito as a male because the antennae are plumose (hairy).  Please note that once seldom sees one mosquito, much less two, much less a male AND a female.  This is just unheard of.  By the way there is another female mosquito in this piece, but it is hard to see and hard to identify.

There is also a lot of other stuff inside this piece.  A couple female worker ants, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, a large wasp, Hymenoptera and a small wasp, 2 fungus gnats, Diptera, Mycetophilidae and a tropical stingless bee.  There are is more inside this amber also.  You are going to have great fun looking at it.

The piece is uniform flat, about .25 inches thick by 2.25  x 1.4 inches.  So this is a nice sized piece.

Here is a scanned image of the snail next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.



Item 18

This is a great piece.  Very large and very red.  It is about 4.25 x 1.5 x 3 inches and about 175 grams.   This is the perfect piece.



Item 19

This is a very rare piece of Chiapas amber.  Either one of the insects I will describe commands a very high price.  Both being in the same piece (and it is a great piece of amber) is unbelievable.  First, there is a female webspinner, Enbioptera.  Webspinners have glands on their front legs that emit silk to line their galleries under the bark.   Males are normally winged and females not.  At the end of their abdomen there are two short tails (cerci).  webspinners are rarely found in amber.

Second:  There are 3 planthoppers, Homoptera, Cixiidae.  But wait - two are mating!  This is the first time in 30 years I have ever seen this.  Rare, rare, rare.   If you are lucky, you may find mating gnats, but NEVER planthoppers.  Can you image these 2 planthoppers have been mating for 20 million years.........no joke about that.

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Item 20

If you know your insects, this picture will take your breath away.  It is an adult male webspinner, Embiidina. The order has also been called Embiodea or Embiidina.  Webspinners continually extend their galleries to reach new food sources, and expand their existing galleries as they grow in size. The insects spin silk by moving their forelegs back and forth over the substrate, and rotating their bodies to create a cylindrical, silk-lined tunnel.  You can see the silk gland on the forelegs of this adult male.  Webspinners are very rare in amber - this is a museum quality specimen.  While you do not see the shape of the amber piece in these pictures, it resembles a quarter piece that is tangentially cut from a circle.

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Item 21

Really a sharp piece of Chiapas amber.  Rectangular, about 1 inch x .5 inch x .5 inch in size.  This is very clear and has a stilt-legged fly. The Micropezidae are a moderate-sized family of acalyptrate muscoid flies in the insect order Diptera.  These insects are commonly called stilt-legged flies, after their characteristically long legs. The fore legs are markedly smaller than the other pairs. Mostly, they are long-bodied, often black flies, usually with infuscated (darkened) wings. This one is perfect.  Rarely found in amber, the details are superb, the wing venation is nothing less than spectacular.   What an addition for someones collection.

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Item 22

This is a large piece of amber, 43 grams.  It is about 2.5 inches x 1.5 x .7 inches in size.  The praying mantis is small, but perfect.  If you were to by the amber without an insects inside, it would be about $400 - with the praying mantis inside, this beauty is only $1,600.  That is a great price for a rare praying mantis.  You can even see the patterns on the legs. There are also 2 tropical stingless bees and worker ant (rather transparent).  Great piece at a fantastic price.  You cannot go wrong with this piece of Chiapas amber.

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Item 23

Mating Webspinners

The primary feature of web spinners is their snake-like heads, with the forlegs short and stout.  Web spinners have glands on their front legs that emit silk to line their galleries in debris and under bark.  Males of most species are winged.  The females, always wingless, are excellent mothers that take care of their young in the web.  At the end of the abdomen there are 2 short tails (cerci), usually asymmetrical in the male and almost always so in the female.  Web spinners are rare in amber.  Mating web spinners in amber are an impossible find, although here it is.  These web spinners have been mating for 20 million years.  Finally, I believe this is the only mating pair of web spinners ever found in any amber anywhere in the world.  An unbelievable specimen.

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Item 24

A rather special piece of amber.  This defines the concept of a 'chunk' of amber.  It is almost 7 x 4 x 3 inches (that is big) and weighs a whopping 1,250 grams (2 and 3/4 pounds).  Large heavy, beautiful............but wait, there is more.  Look carefully at the images of this piece.  There are fossil remains all around it.   These are Brachiopod imprints.  around the majority of the amber.  You just do not see this very often.  A strong confirmation of the role of sea water and amber.  There are shells outside the piece; as though the amber was covered by shells; all that you see on the piece are shells not dirt, regularly amber is covered by something  called "cascajo" (dust, clay) there are parts that you actually  something as seashells (a bivalve). This is the most unique thing we have seen in a long time; we just wonder what this would look like as a display piece in a store?  Someone recently emailed me: "Looks like Ostrea sp. fossils on the exterior, and a partial barnacle remnant as well. Outstanding specimen".


Item 25

This is an amazing piece.  It is a seed.  We are in Colorado and when you walk through fields, it not uncommon to pick up "burs" that stick to your socks or pant legs.  Pulling them off hurts since they have spines.  This does appear to be such a thing.  It is the first time we have ever seen a large seed like this and it will probably be the last.  I am sure that the plant seed inside the 'poky' covering is not viable, but it is fun to think about what would happen if you planted one.  This is one heck of a piece of amber.

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Item 26

Talk about rare - this is a mayfly with the wings open.  It is large and a beautiful piece. Mayflies are in the order Ephemeroptera.  This one has protruding eyes and 2 long hair-like tails.  Mayfly adults  enjoy a life span of no more than two days - thus part of their "rareness".  On top of that, the nymphs live in water.  This is a very nice piece.

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Item 27

What I like about this tropical stingless bee is the perfection of the amber (and the bee), Order, Hymenoptera, Family Apidae:Meliponini, Genus, Proplebeia, Species, dominicana.  The shape and clarity and just beautiful.  The flattened tibia of the hind legs were presumably used to collect pollen but it is also thought that they collected resin from the amber tree.

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Item 29

This looks like the larvae of a lacewing (Neuroptera).  I cannot say which family, Ascalaphidae or Myrmeleontidae, I think it is  one of theseLacewings are rather rare in amber, the larvae are even more so.  This is a small piece, but the amber is clear and perfect.  an excellent specimen, this is a great addition to anyone's collection.

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Item 30

This piece is a bit over 1 inch long and about 1/4 of an inch wide.  Perfectly clear with a perfect tropical stingless bee.  I see this as the ideal pendant.  Beautiful amber with a visible insect.  The bee is in the class Insecta, Order, Hymenoptera, Family, Apidae:Meliponini, Genus, Proplebeia, species, dominicana.  While I put this on the "expensive page, it is not in that category for price, but is for quality.

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Item 31

Some animals are 'easily' found in amber, some are not and some are just about impossible.  This is a "just" impossible one.  A planthopper, Cixiidae: Bothriocerniae.  Wings spread as if see me now.  A truly amazing piece.  The planthopper is a bit on the small side, but VERY easily seen.  You can see the proboscis, extended down the ventral side of the body. The details on the wing are amazing.  Next to the planthopper is a dark amber tube.  My guess it the planthopper landed on the first tube (dark one) and was covered by another clear resin flow.  This is a rare piece and it has a beauty that is unparalleled.  There are 2 genera and nearly 40 species nowadays, most diverse in the Caribbean.

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Item 32

Queen Ant - This is a good sized piece of amber with the fabled queen ant.   Queen ants are very rare and seldom seen.

This is a queen, winged, which means it's either before mating or just after. Fertilized ant females shed their wings and start a colony (becoming a true queen). Generally, only queens and drones (males) can have wings, and when you find one with a big, thick body (thorax and abdomen), it's  a queen.  This gal is almost 1/2 inch in length.  There re also a host of other animals in this amber, bees, wasps, what looks like a caddis fly and others.

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Item 33

Millipedes in the order Siphonophorida are long and worm-like, reaching up to 36 millimeters (1.4 in) in length and up to 190 body segments. The eyes are absent and in many species the head is elongated into a long beak, with the mandibles highly reduced. The beak may serve in a suctorial function.   This is a beautiful specimen.  If you straightened the animal out, it might be 1 inch in length (estimate).  It is in great shape though, easily seen and very special - here is a video of the piece.

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Item 34

This is one beautiful fly.  The amber is clear and the fly looks like he could just jump out of this hardened amber.  I am not sure what fly it is, but will guess (and I could be wrong in this) that it is a large dance fly, Diptera, Empididae.  I really love it when you can see details like the facets of the eyes.

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Item 35

Rare is an understatement.  Feathers in amber just do not come up very often.   My first gut response is this is a bird feather and not a dinosaur feather.  I am not one to distinguish that though.  The entire piece is fairly small (2cm or about .75 inches)  and the piece is thin.  A wonderful example of feathers in amber!  You can see the barbs.....just plain fun to look at and to think about.  Not far from the feather and near an edge is a fly, Diptera, Brachycera.  This is a rare piece.

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Item 36

ewThis is probably the largest pseudoscorpion that I have ever seen, Order Chelonethida.  It is about 9mm long, they are usually 1-3 mm in size.  This one's pincers are extended as if it is attacking an unknown enemy.  If I know my pseudoscorpions better, I would be able to ID this one since the details are so easily seen.  This is quite a piece.

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Item 37

Item 38

Flies are not uncommon - large flies are rare.  Here is a large fly (half an inch or so) that looks like it could be a contemporary fly.  This is the largest fly in amber that I have seen.  In fact when I saw it, I did not believe it.  It is true - large and a really important piece for a collection.  I can even see a paper on this one..............


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Item 39

Rather large piece, about 2 inches x 1 inch x 1.25 inches and weighs 141 grams (quarter pound).  There are 4 very nice tropical stingless bees, Hymenoptera, /family, Meliponini, Genus Proplebeia, species, dominicana.  Also scattered around this chunk are winged ants, a wasp or two, various gnats and other NematoceransEven has a small Bryophyte.

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Item 40

This is amber from Mexico, Chiapas amber, Simojovel mines.

Most often, the creatures trapped in the resin are tiny bugs or floral fragments, but an example such as this is considerably rarer. Suspended in the side of this clear, beautifully shaped amber nugget is a scorpion, every detail of its arthropod anatomy is visible, its tail extended with the vicious barb curved around, its tiny jointed legs bent in towards its body, and one of its larger claw legs extended to the side as though in a final despairing gesture as the sticky tree sap covered its helpless bodyI can only see one pincer, my guess is that the other one is not there.  The scorpion is on the side of the amber piece.

You will not find a scorpion at a better price, anywhere!

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