VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macrophotograph of a fossilized crane fly (family tipulidae) embedded in Baltic amber, a fossilized resin, some 28-31 million years old. Amber is extruded by wounded pines and other trees and as such it is an organic mineral. Any small insects unfortunate enough to come into contact with the sticky resin become trapped, their struggles succeed only in drawing them further into the fluid as it solidifies and hardens. This is one of the few processes by which organisms may be preserved in toto , complete with all of their soft tissues. The main deposit is found in the Oligocene of the South Baltic.
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