Dominican Amber Trip 2019
Interesting trip to the Dominican Republic. I recently came back from a long visit (9 days) to the Dominican Republic. The main reason was to attend the 8th annual Palaeoentomological Conference that was held in Santo Domingo. It was great fun – both to learn and meet new and old friends.
One of the more interesting things that I learned was something I should have known. Ryan Zschomler an amber enthusiast who lives in California and is now into selling amber told me about this. Take a strong flashlight, shine it on a piece of Dominican or Mexican amber in a dark room. Switch the flashlight off and immediately and you will see a bioluminescent type glow for 2 seconds afterward. I did it and it worked perfectly. I was amazed when I did that. I should have known that, being so many years in amber – but I did not. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.
I did buy 2 beautiful pieces of blue amber. One piece is already sold, so the smaller one is left. See the picture below. The blue amber is 53 grams and about 2.5 x 1 x 1.5 inches in size.
The other 3 pieces that I bought are a seed, an en-hydro and a mantis.
SEED: The seed is a rather large and strange looking one. It reminds me of the seeds that come off a dandelion when you blow on the ripe seeds. It also has a nice winged termite on the other side. The seed is very unusual. See the pictures below.
EN-HYDRO: Also of interest is a Dominican amber en-hydro (water bubble). The bubble is almost a half inch long. Not only is this huge, but here is the cool part - the bubble is flattened, so the moving air bubble is even easier to see. I did a few pictures of it, but the video is a must see. I find it hard to believe that I am really looking at water that is specifically 20 million years old. Just think, if I broke it open, maybe there is a deadly virus that might wipe out the human race....so do not break this open.
MANTIS: Finally a piece with a very nice praying mantis (Mantid). Easily seen this guy is perfect. The juvenile is about .3 inches long and visible just by looking. Mantids are very rare in Dominican amber (or for that matter, any amber). This is a great piece at a very good price for rare mantids.