Researchers Eva-Maria Sadowski and Christa-Charlotte Hofmann from the Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institute for Evolutionary and Biodiversity Research in Berlin have published a fascinating paper Description of a 28mm flower preserved in amber, the largest of its kind to date.
For millions of years, Amber can preserve old insects or in this case flowers. However, the specimens tend to be very small, contrary to what you may have seen in movies featuring dinosaurs. It is believed that this particular sample is 33 to 40 million years old.
It is believed that this amber was a resin from the bark or heartwood of a tree. Over time, the liquid resign loses its volatile components and hardens into a polymer form. In addition, the recovered ambers were often buried in an oxygen-free environment, which also helps in their preservation.
The fossil was discovered 150 years ago and remained untouched until researchers decided to take a closer look to identify the flower species using modern technology. Based on the pollen analysis, it appears to be the original stewardia Identification was inaccurate and it is closer to the symplocos Family.
The quality of identification isn’t that important to most of us, but it’s quite amazing to know that this flower bloomed on our planet long before humans appeared. The warm amber color makes this time capsule particularly attractive to look at.
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