PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Opaque amber. Three specimens of opaque amber. Amber is fossilised resin produced by various prehistoric coniferous trees. Amber exists in either a clear, or opaque form.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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