Revelations Within Myanmar Amber And Meteor Showers
Rock&Gem Magazine|February 2020
Golden-hued amber is often used in the jewelry business to craft wonderful treasures in the forms of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
Jim Brace-Thompson

But this fossilized tree resin that lapidary artists find so intriguing also often ensnared paleontological treasures such as insects, plant debris, and other bits of ancient life. The unique properties of amber preserve such specimens in exquisite three-dimensional detail.

The nation of Myanmar holds a true treasure trove in the form of 100-million-year-old amber (in other words, amber from the Age of Dinosaurs). For instance, in recent years 1,200 species of ancient life forms new to science have been formally described in the scientific literature from pieces of amber recovered from Myanmar. Most scientists suspect this just scratches the surface.

As if to prove that point, per a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Myanmar amber deposits have recently chalked up one more treasure: the earliest flower-pollinating insect. The bug in question is a beetle that has been named Angimordella burmitina. It was discovered with bits of pollen covering its thorax, abdomen, and legs.

The discovery pushes back the known pollination of flowers via insects by some 50 million years. A real treasure, indeed!


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