Opaque amber

Opaque amber

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This image is part of the feature 21st Century Machine Shines Light Onto A Fossil World

Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Semi-opaque amber. Amber is fossilised resin produced by various prehistoric coniferous trees. Amber exists in both a clear and an opaque form. Sometimes, as in this case, it can exist as both. Opaqueness is caused by bubbles trapped within the resin during fossilisation. Many amber pieces contain small plants and animals, known as inclusions, that were trapped when the amber first existed as a sticky resin. In clear amber, the organisms are easily viewed using optical microscopes, but opaque amber requires the use of powerful X-rays to detect inclusions.

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Keywords: amber, clear amber, earth science, fossilised, geological, geology, lower cretaceous, mineral, one, opaque, opaque amber, palaeontology, paleontology, prehistoric, prehistory, resin, semi-opaque, single, specimen

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