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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 03:22 AM

Gemologist Finds Insect Entombed in Opal Rather Than Amber

Amber has long been prized for not only its lush, fiery hues, but its elaborate contributions to Earth’s fossil record. As Vasika Udurawane writes for Earth Archives, the petrified tree resin starts out as a viscous liquid, slowly hardening over million of years and preserving the entrapped remains of creatures that find themselves caught up in the process. To date, researchers have recovered amber fossils featuring such lively scenes as a spider attacking a wasp, an ant beleaguered by a parasitic mite and even a lizard seemingly suspended in mid-air—or rather mid-amber.

Until now, Gizmodo’s Ryan F. Mandelbaum reports, most scientists believed that such high-quality fossil specimens were unique to amber. But an intriguing find by gemologist Brian Berger could upend this notion, proving that the slow-forming gemstone opal is also capable of preserving the remains of ancient animals.


Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/gemologist-identifies-insect-entombed-opal-rather-amber-180971336/#TJT9Lw6sVuJXb2wX.99

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Reply Gemologist Finds Insect Entombed in Opal Rather Than Amber (Original post)
WillParkinson Apr 2019 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #1
MineralMan Apr 2019 #2

Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 04:51 AM

1. That's interesting.i

I will admit that I have no trouble dealing with insects in amber, but to think about them in opal feels quite different.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 04:14 PM

2. There are many opalized fossils out there.



A google image search for opalized fossil turns up hundreds of images, some of them pretty amazing.

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