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: Opaque amber. Amber is fossilised resin produced by various prehistoric coniferous trees. It exists in clear, or opaque form. The opaqueness is due to bubbles trapped within the resin during fossilisation. Many amber pieces contain small plants and animals that were trapped when it first existed as a sticky resin. In clear amber, the organisms are easily seen using optical microscopes, but opaque amber requires the use of powerful X-rays to detect trapped organisms.

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Keywords: amber, animal, animals, collection, earth science, fossilised, geological, geology, lower cretaceous, mineral, opaque, opaque amber, palaeontology, paleontology, prehistoric, prehistory, specimen, specimens

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