Amber Fossilization Process

Amber is the fossilized resin of trees that happen to preserve certain organisms, often insects. Resin is slightly different than sap; tree sap is more soluble in water, coming from the xylem of the tree. Resin that is secreted from a tree encapsulates the organismĀ and hardens, making it more likely to survive the test of time. As you probably know, the basis of the scientists’ research in Jurassic Park was on extracting DNA from mosquitoes that had sucked on the blood of the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, DNA from this far back in time could not occur, since the half life of DNA has been determined to be around 521 years. Furthermore, there are other variables that influence the degradation of DNA so more research needs to be executed.

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Piece of amber with fossil at the Museum of Amber in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Attribution: Alejandro Linares Garcia

 

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