Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times.Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.
A fossil is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record.
In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focuses on naturally-occurring resins.
The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.
There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions.Amber occurring in coal seams is also called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within New Zealand coal seams.
In mineralogy, an inclusion is any material that is trapped inside a mineral during its formation.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
The English word amber derives from Arabic ʿanbarعنبر (cognate with Middle Persian ambar ) via Middle Latin ambar and Middle French ambre. The word was adopted in Middle English in the 14th century as referring to what is now known as ambergris (ambre gris or "grey amber"), a solid waxy substance derived from the sperm whale. In the Romance languages, the sense of the word had come to be extended to Baltic amber (fossil resin) from as early as the late 13th century. At first called white or yellow amber (ambre jaune), this meaning was adopted in English by the early 15th century. As the use of ambergris waned, this became the main sense of the word.
Arabic is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in Northwestern Arabia and in the Sinai Peninsula. The ISO assigns language codes to thirty varieties of Arabic, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, which is modernized Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʻArabīyat ul-fuṣḥá.
Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known as by its endonym Parsig or Parsik, is the Middle Iranian language or ethnolect of southwestern Iran that during the Sasanian Empire (224–654) became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions of the empire as well. Middle Persian is classified as a Western Iranian language. It descended from Old Persian, the language of Achaemenid Empire and it is the linguistic ancestor of Modern Persian.
Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the early 17th centuries. It is a period of transition during which:
The two substances ("yellow amber" and "grey amber") conceivably became associated or confused because they both were found washed up on beaches. Ambergris is less dense than water and floats, whereas amber is too dense to float, though less dense than stone.
The classical names for amber, Latin electrum and Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (ēlektron), are connected to a term ἠλέκτωρ (ēlektōr) meaning "beaming Sun". According to myth, when Phaëton son of Helios (the Sun) was killed, his mourning sisters became poplar trees, and their tears became elektron, amber. The word elektron gave rise to the words electric, electricity, and their relatives because of amber's ability to bear a static electricity charge.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 1.39 million kilometers, or 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Roughly three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.
Theophrastus discussed amber in the 4th century BC, as did Pytheas (c. 330 BC), whose work "On the Ocean" is lost, but was referenced by Pliny the Elder (23 to 79 AD), according to whose The Natural History (in what is also the earliest known mention of the name Germania ):
Theophrastus, a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death, he attached himself to Aristotle who took to Theophrastus in his writings. When Aristotle fled Athens, Theophrastus took over as head of the Lyceum. Theophrastus presided over the Peripatetic school for thirty-six years, during which time the school flourished greatly. He is often considered the father of botany for his works on plants. After his death, the Athenians honoured him with a public funeral. His successor as head of the school was Strato of Lampsacus.
Pytheas of Massalia was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony of Massalia. He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe in about 325 BC, but his account of it, known widely in Antiquity, has not survived and is now known only through the writings of others.
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of emperor Vespasian.
Pytheas says that the Gutones, a people of Germany, inhabit the shores of an estuary of the Ocean called Mentonomon, their territory extending a distance of six thousand stadia; that, at one day's sail from this territory, is the Isle of Abalus, upon the shores of which, amber is thrown up by the waves in spring, it being an excretion of the sea in a concrete form; as, also, that the inhabitants use this amber by way of fuel, and sell it to their neighbors, the Teutones.
Earlier [ citation needed ] It is assumed[ by whom? ] that there were well-established trade routes for amber connecting the Baltic with the Mediterranean (known as the "Amber Road"). Pliny states explicitly that the Germans exported amber to Pannonia, from where the Veneti distributed it onwards.Pliny says that Pytheas refers to a large island - three days' sail from the Scythian coast and called Balcia by Xenophon of Lampsacus (author of a fanciful travel book in Greek) - as Basilia - a name generally equated with Abalus. Given the presence of amber, the island could have been Heligoland, Zealand, the shores of Bay of Gdansk, the Sambia Peninsula or the Curonian Lagoon, which were historically the richest sources of amber in northern Europe.
The ancient Italic peoples of southern Italy used to work amber; the National Archaeological Museum of Siritide (Museo Archeologico Nazionale della Siritide) at Policoro in the province of Matera (Basilicata) displays important surviving examples. Amber used in antiquity as at Mycenae and in the prehistory of the Mediterranean comes from deposits of Sicily.[ citation needed ]
Pliny also cites the opinion of Nicias (c. 470–413 BC), according to whom amber
is a liquid produced by the rays of the sun; and that these rays, at the moment of the sun's setting, striking with the greatest force upon the surface of the soil, leave upon it an unctuous sweat, which is carried off by the tides of the Ocean, and thrown up upon the shores of Germany.
Besides the fanciful explanations according to which amber is "produced by the Sun", Pliny cites opinions that are well aware of its origin in tree resin, citing the native Latin name of succinum (sūcinum, from sucus "juice").In Book 37, section XI of Natural History , Pliny wrote:
Amber is produced from a marrow discharged by trees belonging to the pine genus, like gum from the cherry, and resin from the ordinary pine. It is a liquid at first, which issues forth in considerable quantities, and is gradually hardened [...] Our forefathers, too, were of opinion that it is the juice of a tree, and for this reason gave it the name of "succinum" and one great proof that it is the produce of a tree of the pine genus, is the fact that it emits a pine-like smell when rubbed, and that it burns, when ignited, with the odour and appearance of torch-pine wood.
He also states that amber is also found in Egypt and in India, and he even refers to the electrostatic properties of amber, by saying that "in Syria the women make the whorls of their spindles of this substance, and give it the name of harpax [from ἁρπάζω, "to drag"] from the circumstance that it attracts leaves towards it, chaff, and the light fringe of tissues".
Pliny says that the German name of amber was glæsum , "for which reason the Romans, when Germanicus Caesar commanded the fleet in those parts, gave to one of these islands the name of Glæsaria, which by the barbarians was known as Austeravia". This is confirmed by the recorded Old High German word glas and by the Old English word glær for "amber" (compare glass ). In Middle Low German, amber was known as berne-, barn-, börnstēn (with etymological roots related to "burn" and to "stone"). The Low German term became dominant also in High German by the 18th century, thus modern German Bernstein besides Dutch barnsteen.
In the Baltic languages, the Lithuanian term for amber is gintaras and the Latvian dzintars. These words, and the Slavic jantar [ by whom? ] to originate from Phoenician jainitar ("sea-resin").[ citation needed ]and Hungarian gyanta ('resin'), are thought
Early in the nineteenth century, the first reports of amber found in North America came from discoveries in New Jersey along Crosswicks Creek near Trenton, at Camden, and near Woodbury.
Amber is heterogeneous in composition, but consists of several resinous bodies more or less soluble in alcohol, ether and chloroform, associated with an insoluble bituminous substance. Amber is a macromolecule by free radical polymerization of several precursors in the labdane family, e.g. communic acid, cummunol, and biformene.These labdanes are diterpenes (C20H32) and trienes, equipping the organic skeleton with three alkene groups for polymerization. As amber matures over the years, more polymerization takes place as well as isomerization reactions, crosslinking and cyclization.
Heated above 200 °C (392 °F), amber decomposes, yielding an oil of amber, and leaves a black residue which is known as "amber colophony", or "amber pitch"; when dissolved in oil of turpentine or in linseed oil this forms "amber varnish" or "amber lac".
Molecular polymerization, resulting from high pressures and temperatures produced by overlying sediment, transforms the resin first into copal. Sustained heat and pressure drives off terpenes and results in the formation of amber.
For this to happen, the resin must be resistant to decay. Many trees produce resin, but in the majority of cases this deposit is broken down by physical and biological processes. Exposure to sunlight, rain, microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi), and extreme temperatures tends to disintegrate the resin. For the resin to survive long enough to become amber, it must be resistant to such forces or be produced under conditions that exclude them.
Fossil resins from Europe fall into two categories, the famous Baltic ambers and another that resembles the Agathis group. Fossil resins from the Americas and Africa are closely related to the modern genus Hymenaea ,while Baltic ambers are thought to be fossil resins from family Sciadopityaceae plants that once lived in north Europe.
Most amber has a hardness between 2.0 and 2.5 on the Mohs scale, a refractive index of 1.5–1.6, a specific gravity between 1.06 and 1.10, and a melting point of 250–300 °C.
The abnormal development of resin in living trees (succinosis) can result in the formation of amber.Impurities are quite often present, especially when the resin dropped onto the ground, so the material may be useless except for varnish-making. Such impure amber is called firniss.
Such inclusion of other substances can cause amber to have an unexpected color. Pyrites may give a bluish color. Bony amber owes its cloudy opacity to numerous tiny bubbles inside the resin.However, so-called black amber is really only a kind of jet.
In darkly clouded and even opaque amber, inclusions can be imaged using high-energy, high-contrast, high-resolution X-rays.
Amber is globally distributed, mainly in rocks of Cretaceous age or younger. Historically, the Samland coast west of Königsberg in Prussia was the world's leading source of amber. The first mentions of amber deposits here date back to the 12th century.About 90% of the world's extractable amber is still located in that area, which became the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia in 1946.
Pieces of amber torn from the seafloor are cast up by the waves, and collected by hand, dredging, or diving. Elsewhere, amber is mined, both in open works and underground galleries. Then nodules of blue earth have to be removed and an opaque crust must be cleaned off, which can be done in revolving barrels containing sand and water. Erosion removes this crust from sea-worn amber.
Caribbean amber, especially Dominican blue amber, is mined through bell pitting, which is dangerous due to the risk of tunnel collapse.
The Vienna amber factories, which use pale amber to manufacture pipes and other smoking tools, turn it on a lathe and polish it with whitening and water or with rotten stone and oil. The final luster is given by friction with flannel.
When gradually heated in an oil-bath, amber becomes soft and flexible. Two pieces of amber may be united by smearing the surfaces with linseed oil, heating them, and then pressing them together while hot. Cloudy amber may be clarified in an oil-bath, as the oil fills the numerous pores to which the turbidity is due.
Small fragments, formerly thrown away or used only for varnish, are now used on a large scale in the formation of "ambroid" or "pressed amber".The pieces are carefully heated with exclusion of air and then compressed into a uniform mass by intense hydraulic pressure, the softened amber being forced through holes in a metal plate. The product is extensively used for the production of cheap jewelry and articles for smoking. This pressed amber yields brilliant interference colors in polarized light.
Amber has often been imitated by other resins like copal and kauri gum, as well as by celluloid and even glass. Baltic amber is sometimes colored artificially, but also called "true amber".
Amber occurs in a range of different colors. As well as the usual yellow-orange-brown that is associated with the color "amber", amber itself can range from a whitish color through a pale lemon yellow, to brown and almost black. Other uncommon colors include red amber (sometimes known as "cherry amber"), green amber, and even blue amber, which is rare and highly sought after.
Yellow amber is a hard fossil resin from evergreen trees, and despite the name it can be translucent, yellow, orange, or brown colored. Known to the Iranians by the Pahlavi compound word kah-ruba (from kah "straw" plus rubay "attract, snatch", referring to its electrical properties), which entered Arabic as kahraba' or kahraba (which later became the Arabic word for electricity, كهرباء kahrabā'), it too was called amber in Europe (Old French and Middle English ambre). Found along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, yellow amber reached the Middle East and western Europe via trade. Its coastal acquisition may have been one reason yellow amber came to be designated by the same term as ambergris. Moreover, like ambergris, the resin could be burned as an incense. The resin's most popular use was, however, for ornamentation—easily cut and polished, it could be transformed into beautiful jewelry. Much of the most highly prized amber is transparent, in contrast to the very common cloudy amber and opaque amber. Opaque amber contains numerous minute bubbles. This kind of amber is known as "bony amber".
Although all Dominican amber is fluorescent, the rarest Dominican amber is blue amber. It turns blue in natural sunlight and any other partially or wholly ultraviolet light source. In long-wave UV light it has a very strong reflection, almost white. Only about 100 kg (220 lb) is found per year, which makes it valuable and expensive.
Sometimes amber retains the form of drops and stalactites, just as it exuded from the ducts and receptacles of the injured trees.It is thought that, in addition to exuding onto the surface of the tree, amber resin also originally flowed into hollow cavities or cracks within trees, thereby leading to the development of large lumps of amber of irregular form.
Amber can be classified into several forms. Most fundamentally, there are two types of plant resin with the potential for fossilization. Terpenoids, produced by conifers and angiosperms, consist of ring structures formed of isoprene (C5H8) units.Phenolic resins are today only produced by angiosperms, and tend to serve functional uses. The extinct medullosans produced a third type of resin, which is often found as amber within their veins. The composition of resins is highly variable; each species produces a unique blend of chemicals which can be identified by the use of pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The overall chemical and structural composition is used to divide ambers into five classes. There is also a separate classification of amber gemstones, according to the way of production.
This section may be too technical for most readers to understand. Please help improve it to make it understandable to non-experts, without removing the technical details. (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This class is by far the most abundant. It comprises labdatriene carboxylic acids such as communic or ozic acids.It is further split into three sub-classes. Classes Ia and Ib utilize regular labdanoid diterpenes (e.g. communic acid, communol, biformenes), while Ic uses enantio labdanoids (ozic acid, ozol, enantio biformenes).
Class Ia includes Succinite (= 'normal' Baltic amber) and Glessite.They have a communic acid base, and they also include much succinic acid.
Baltic amber yields on dry distillation succinic acid, the proportion varying from about 3% to 8%, and being greatest in the pale opaque or bony varieties. The aromatic and irritating fumes emitted by burning amber are mainly due to this acid. Baltic amber is distinguished by its yield of succinic acid, hence the name succinite. Succinite has a hardness between 2 and 3, which is rather greater than that of many other fossil resins. Its specific gravity varies from 1.05 to 1.10.It can be distinguished from other ambers via IR spectroscopy due to a specific carbonyl absorption peak. IR spectroscopy can detect the relative age of an amber sample. Succinic acid may not be an original component of amber, but rather a degradation product of abietic acid.
Like class Ia ambers, these are based on communic acid; however, they lack succinic acid.
This class is mainly based on enantio-labdatrienonic acids, such as ozic and zanzibaric acids.Its most familiar representative is Dominican amber.
Dominican amber differentiates itself from Baltic amber by being mostly transparent and often containing a higher number of fossil inclusions. This has enabled the detailed reconstruction of the ecosystem of a long-vanished tropical forest.Resin from the extinct species Hymenaea protera is the source of Dominican amber and probably of most amber found in the tropics. It is not "succinite" but "retinite".
These ambers are formed from resins with a sesquiterpenoid base, such as cadinene.
These ambers are polystyrenes.
Class IV is something of a wastebasket;[ clarification needed ] its ambers are not polymerized, but mainly consist of cedrene-based sesquiterpenoids.
Class V resins are considered to be produced by a pine or pine relative. They comprise a mixture of diterpinoid resins and n-alkyl compounds. Their main variety is Highgate copalite .
The oldest amber recovered dates to the Upper Carboniferous period (). Its chemical composition makes it difficult to match the amber to its producers – it is most similar to the resins produced by flowering plants; however, there are no flowering plant fossils known from before the Cretaceous, and they were not common until the Late Cretaceous. Amber becomes abundant long after the Carboniferous, in the Early Cretaceous, , when it is found in association with insects. The oldest amber with arthropod inclusions comes from the Levant, from Lebanon and Jordan. This amber, roughly 125–135 million years old, is considered of high scientific value, providing evidence of some of the oldest sampled ecosystems.
In Lebanon, more than 450 outcrops of Lower Cretaceous amber were discovered by Dany Azar,a Lebanese paleontologist and entomologist. Among these outcrops, 20 have yielded biological inclusions comprising the oldest representatives of several recent families of terrestrial arthropods. Even older, Jurassic amber has been found recently in Lebanon as well. Many remarkable insects and spiders were recently discovered in the amber of Jordan including the oldest zorapterans, clerid beetles, umenocoleid roaches, and achiliid planthoppers.
Baltic amber or succinite (historically documented as Prussian amber) is found as irregular nodules in marine glauconitic sand, known as blue earth, occurring in the Lower Oligocene strata of Sambia in Prussia (in historical sources also referred to as Glaesaria). After 1945, this territory around Königsberg was turned into Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, where amber is now systematically mined.
It appears, however, to have been partly derived from older Eocene deposits and it occurs also as a derivative phase in later formations, such as glacial drift. Relics of an abundant flora occur as inclusions trapped within the amber while the resin was yet fresh, suggesting relations with the flora of Eastern Asia and the southern part of North America. Heinrich Göppert named the common amber-yielding pine of the Baltic forests Pinites succiniter, but as the wood does not seem to differ from that of the existing genus it has been also called Pinus succinifera. It is improbable, however, that the production of amber was limited to a single species; and indeed a large number of conifers belonging to different genera are represented in the amber-flora.
|Part of a series on|
| Paleontology Portal |
Amber is a unique preservational mode, preserving otherwise unfossilizable parts of organisms; as such it is helpful in the reconstruction of ecosystems as well as organisms;the chemical composition of the resin, however, is of limited utility in reconstructing the phylogenetic affinity of the resin producer.
Amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was secreted. Insects, spiders and even their webs, annelids, frogs,crustaceans, bacteria and amoebae, marine microfossils, wood, flowers and fruit, hair, feathers and other small organisms have been recovered in Cretaceous ambers (deposited c. ). The oldest amber to bear fossils (mites) is from the Carnian (Triassic, ) of north-eastern Italy.
The preservation of prehistoric organisms in amber forms a key plot point in Michael Crichton's 1990 novel Jurassic Park and the 1993 movie adaptation by Steven Spielberg.In the story, scientists are able to extract the preserved blood of dinosaurs from prehistoric mosquitoes trapped in amber, from which they genetically clone living dinosaurs. Scientifically this is as yet impossible, since no amber with fossilized mosquitoes has ever yielded preserved blood. Amber is, however, conducive to preserving DNA, since it dehydrates and thus stabilizes organisms trapped inside. One projection in 1999 estimated that DNA trapped in amber could last up to 100 million years, far beyond most estimates of around 1 million years in the most ideal conditions, although a later 2013 study was unable to extract DNA from insects trapped in much more recent Holocene copal.
Amber has been used since prehistory (Solutrean) in the manufacture of jewelry and ornaments, and also in folk medicine.
Amber has been used as jewelry since the Stone Age, from 13,000 years ago.Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across Europe. To this day it is used in the manufacture of smoking and glassblowing mouthpieces. Amber's place in culture and tradition lends it a tourism value; Palanga Amber Museum is dedicated to the fossilized resin.
Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties. [ citation needed ] Traditional Chinese medicine uses amber to "tranquilize the mind", and there is limited evidence that it has a sedative effect in mice.Amber and extracts were used from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece for a wide variety of treatments through the Middle Ages and up until the early twentieth century.
Amber necklaces are a traditional European remedy for colic or teething pain due to the purported analgesic properties of succinic acid, although there is no evidence that this is an effective remedy or delivery method.The American Academy of Pediatrics and the FDA have warned strongly against their use, as they present both a choking and a strangulation hazard.
In ancient China, it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. If amber is heated under the right conditions, oil of amber is produced, and in past times this was combined carefully with nitric acid to create "artificial musk" – a resin with a peculiar musky odor.Although when burned, amber does give off a characteristic "pinewood" fragrance, modern products, such as perfume, do not normally use actual amber due to the fact that fossilized amber produces very little scent. In perfumery, scents referred to as "amber" are often created and patented to emulate the opulent golden warmth of the fossil.
The modern name for amber is thought to come from the Arabic word, ambar, meaning ambergris.Ambergris is the waxy aromatic substance created in the intestines of sperm whales and was used in making perfumes both in ancient times as well as modern.
The scent of amber was originally derived from emulating the scent of ambergris and/or the plant resin labdanum, but due to the endangered species status of the sperm whale the scent of amber is now largely derived from labdanum.The term "amber" is loosely used to describe a scent that is warm, musky, rich and honey-like, and also somewhat earthy. It can be synthetically created or derived from natural resins. When derived from natural resins it is most often created out of labdanum. Benzoin is usually part of the recipe. Vanilla and cloves are sometimes used to enhance the aroma.
"Amber" perfumes may be created using combinations of labdanum, benzoin resin, copal (itself a type of tree resin used in incense manufacture), vanilla, Dammara resin and/or synthetic materials.
Young resins, these are used as imitations:
Plastics, these are used as imitations:
Ambergris, ambergrease, or grey amber, is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. However, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent as it ages, commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency.
Copal is a name given to tree resin, particularly the aromatic resins from the copal tree Protium copal (Burseraceae) used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and for other purposes. More generally, the term copal describes resinous substances in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening between "gummier" resins and amber.
Balsam is the resinous exudate which forms on certain kinds of trees and shrubs. Balsam owes its name to the biblical Balm of Gilead.
George O. Poinar Jr. is an American entomologist and writer. He is known for popularizing the idea of extracting DNA from insects fossilized in amber, an idea which received widespread attention when adapted by Michael Crichton for the book and movie Jurassic Park.
Labdanum, also called ladanum, laudanum, ladan or ladanon, is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer and Cistus creticus, species of rockrose. It was historically used in herbal medicine and is still used in the preparation of some perfumes.
Blue amber is a rare variety of amber resin that exhibits a blue coloration. Blue amber has been found only in the Dominican Republic—especially in the amber mines around the city of Santiago and, less commonly, in the eastern half of the country. In the modern age, it was discovered at about the same time as Dominican amber.
The Baltic region is home to the largest known deposit of amber, called Baltic amber or succinite. It dates from 44 million years ago. It has been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. Today, more than 90% of the world's amber comes from Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia. It is a major source of income for the region; the local Kaliningrad Amber Combine extracted 250 tonnes of it in 2014, 400 tonnes in 2015.
Caribbean amber is amber found in the Caribbean area. Resin from the extinct tree Hymenaea protera is the source of Caribbean amber and probably of most amber found in the tropics.
Roystonea palaea is an extinct species of palm known from fossil flowers found in the early Miocene Burdigalian stage Dominican amber deposits on the island of Hispaniola. The species is known from a single staminate flower and a single pistillate flower both preserved in the same piece of amber. The amber specimen bearing the holotype and paratype is currently deposited in the collections of the Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, as number "Sd–9–101", where it was studied and described by Dr George Poinar. Dr Poinar published his 2002 type description for R. palaea in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 139. The species' second name is taken from the Greek word palaios meaning "ancient". The amber specimen bearing the flowers was excavated from the La Toca mine northeast of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Archaeomarasmius is an extinct genus of gilled fungus in the Agaricales family Tricholomataceae, containing the single species Archaeomarasmius leggetti. It is known from two fruit bodies recovered from amber, one consisting of a complete cap with a broken stem, the other consisting of a fragment of a cap. The cap has a diameter ranging from 3.2 to 6 mm, while the stem is 0.5 mm (0.02 in) thick. Spores were also recovered from the amber, and are broadly ellipsoid to egg-shaped, measuring roughly 7.3 by 4.7 μm. The species, which resembles the extant genera Marasmius and Marasmiellus, is inferred to have been saprobic on plant litter or other forest debris.
Voltinia dramba is a fossil metalmark butterfly, found in pieces of amber in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola in 2004. The butterfly, belonging to the extant genus Voltinia, is the first species to be taxonomically described from amber and the first true fossil of an adult riodinid. Five specimens, all females, were found in pieces of amber from the resin of the extinct leguminous tree Hymenaea protera. Also, the genus Voltinia contains nine heterogeneous species that range from Mexico to Brazil. The fossil appeared to be 15-25 million years old and it's a holotype female fossil. However, the fossil's origin may be unknown, it is ingrained in highly polymerized Dominican amber.
The Amber Coast is the name given to a coastal strip of the Baltic Sea in the northwest of Kaliningrad. In this area amber has been excavated since the mid-19th century and up to today in open-pit mining. Two deposits – Palmnikenskoe and Primorskoe, containing 80% of world amber reserves, were found near Yantarny on the Western coast of the Sambia Peninsula in 1948-1951’s.
Vetufebrus is an extinct genus of haemospororida in the family Plasmodiidae. At the time of its description the new genus was comprised of a single species Vetufebrus ovatus known from a single Miocene Dominican amber fossil found on Hispaniola. V. ovatus was vectored by Enischnomyia stegosoma, the first fossil steblid bat fly described from a fossil, and the only member of the subfamily Nycterophiliinae described from Hispaniola. V. ovatus is the first instance of a Streblidae bat fly as a host for a malarial parasite.
Apterostigma electropilosum is an extinct species of ant in the subfamily Myrmicinae known from a single possibly Miocene fossil found on Hispaniola. A. electropilosum is one of only two species of the ant genus Apterostigma and one of five attini species to have been described from fossils found in Dominican amber.
Zigrasolabis is an extinct genus of earwig in the family Labiduridae known from Cretaceous fossils found in Myanmar. The genus contains a single described species, Zigrasolabis speciosa.
Prosisyrina is an extinct genus of lacewing in the neuropteran family Sisyridae. The genus contains two described species, Prosisyrina sphinga and Prosisyrina sukachevae. Prosisyrina is known from a group of Late Cretaceous fossils which were found in Asia.
Dlusskyidris is an extinct genus of ant in the Formicidae subfamily Sphecomyrminae, and is one of the five genera placed in the tribe Sphecomyrmini. The genus contains a single described species, Dlusskyidris zherichini, and is known from three Late Cretaceous fossils which have been found in northern Russia.
Alkenyl succinic anhydrides (ASA) are modified five-membered succinic anhydrides bearing a branched iso-alkenyl chain (C14 to C22). They are colorless, and usually viscous liquids. They are widely used, especially in surface sizing of paper, paperboard, and cardboard, as well as in the hydrophobicization of cellulose fibers. Products treated with it show reduced penetration of aqueous media, such as inks or drinks (like milk or fruit juices).
|script-title=: missing prefix (help)
|script-title=: missing prefix (help)
|script-title=: missing prefix (help)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|