PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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