VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Insect preserved in amber, computer artwork. Amber is fossilised tree resin. Resin is a sticky viscous liquid produced by trees. When insects land on, or crawl over, resin they are often unable to escape and it engulfs them, forming an airtight seal. This preserves the insect and prevents it from decomposing, until eventually the resin fossilises to produce amber. By finding this amber scientists can access specimens and DNA from long extinct species. Over 4000 species of arthropods have been found in this way.
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