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50-million-year-old mite found on spider’s back

Close examination of a spider trapped in amber has revealed a hitchhiker: a 50-million-year-old mite. From the outside of the amber, the mite looks like a tiny bubble. It is so small, about 0.008 inches (.2 millimeters) long, normal microscopes and techniques aren't powerful enough to take a close look at

Prehistoric feathers found trapped in amber

11 prehistoric protofeathers have been found in western Canada, preserved in amber. Some amber blobs hold primitive single-filament protofeathers that are probably best described as "fuzz". Paleontologists believe that this insulating fluff belonged to non-flying dinosaurs like the tyrannosaurids. At the other end of the spectrum, the amber artifacts show how

23-million-year old insects found in Peru

The remains of ancient insects and seeds have been found, trapped in amber, in Peru. "These new discoveries are very important, because the insects and sunflower seeds confirm the type of climate that existed during the Miocene period," Honninger said in a telephone interview from the northern city of Chiclayo. The paleontologists

CT scan reveals 49 million year old spider

A CT scan been performed on a tiny huntsman spider trapped in amber 49 million years ago. A mysterious ancient specimen at the Berlin Natural History Museum has finally been identified thanks to the latest computer imaging technology (see video above). The spider, which was trapped in amber 49 million years

Insects trapped in amber raise questions about India’s origins

A veritable trove of insects found preserved in amber for millions of years is raising questions about how long India was isolated before it merged with the Asian continent. The insects – bees, termites, spiders, and flies – had been entombed in the vast Cambay deposit in western India for

Prehistoric mammal hair found in amber

Palaeontologists have discovered mammal hair encased in 100-million-year-old amber. While older 2D fossilised hairs are known, those preserved in the amber are the oldest 3D specimens known. The hairs, found alongside a fly pupa in amber uncovered in southwest France, are remarkably similar to hair found on modern mammals. That

Ethiopian amber preserves 95-million-year-old insects

Discovery News has posted a nice photo gallery showing ants, wasps, spiders and other organisms which were trapped in amber 95-million-years ago in Ethiopia.  It's believed that angiosperms and many insects, such as ants, co-evolved. No pollinating insects were found in the amber, suggesting that flowering plants were still rare

Amber preserves microscopic organisms in ancient termite’s gut

The fossil of a termite trapped in amber is the earliest example of mutualism between an animal and the microbes in its gut. One hundred million years ago a termite was wounded and its abdomen split open. The resin of a pine tree slowly enveloped its body and the contents of