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SCIENCE
 
Resin of a tree is its natural self-preservation from calamities that leave exposed wood. The resin covers a blasted portion with much of sticky resin that stops leaking of tree sap and protects it from various insects, micro-organisms, and atmospheric damage. The resin that drips and flows down is plentiful. On its way, the substance of organic origin collects everything that sticks up to it. The following drops cover the "catch" and encases it for tens and even a few hundred millions of years. The inclusions can be inorganic particles of rocks, sand, or dust, microscopic organisms such as bacteria, botanical matter including flowers, leaves, bark, insects, beetles, scorpions, organic debris such as feathers, spider webs, hair. Even bees, lizards and frogs have been found, but it happens extremely rare. If conditions are favorable, the substance naturally turns to amber as time passes by. Thus amber has become the best ever known preservative invaluable to science.
 

 

 

Prehistoric mosquito preserved in Baltic Amber. (R.V. Byenes)

 
Scientists who study ancient life simply have no better analog other than amber to make research and look back into the past. Excellently preserved inclusions in amber has led to the discovery of previously unknown species of prehistoric critters and flora what in its turn led scientists to other discoveries through a unique insights into the history of evolution and progress of searching for DNA from fossilized critters (however, the latter is controversial among scientists) to mention but a few.
 
Archaeologists prize Baltic Amber as it helps to unveil facts of ancient long-distance trade.
 
Would you find it interesting to spot inclusions in a piece of Baltic Amber yourself? Make a try!
 

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