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Article: Baltic amber

Baltic amber

Geologic context and extraction of Baltic amber

  • Baltic amber is the largest known deposit of amber in the world.
  • It was produced during the Eocene epoch, but the exact timing is debated.
  • The forests in the Baltic region created over 100,000 tons of amber.
  • More than 90% of the world's amber comes from Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia.
  • The Kaliningrad Amber Combine extracted 250 tonnes of amber in 2014 and 400 tonnes in 2015.

Baltic amber tree

  • The origin of Baltic amber is coniferous.
  • The resin that became amber was initially believed to be produced by the tree Pinites succinifer, but recent research suggests it originates from several species.
  • The family Sciadopityaceae, specifically the Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata), may be responsible for the resin.
  • The identification of the tree species is based on Fourier-transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIR) analysis.
  • The Japanese umbrella pine is the only extant representative of the Sciadopityaceae family.

Structure and properties of Baltic amber

  • Baltic amber has a complex structure.
  • It is not a polymer but has a macromolecular structure arranged in a crosslinked network.
  • The structure gives amber its density, hardness, and resistance to external factors.
  • The pores in the structure are filled by components of molecular structure, such as mono- and sesquiterpenes.
  • The supramolecular structure allows for the preservation of plant and animal inclusions.

Paleobiology of Baltic amber

  • Baltic amber contains numerous extinct genera and species of plants and animals.
  • Insects make up over 98% of the animal inclusions in Baltic amber.
  • Other arthropods, annelids, molluscs, nematodes, and protozoans contribute less than 0.5%.
  • Vertebrates, including mammal fur, feathers, and reptiles, make up another 0.5%.
  • Baltic amber provides valuable insights into ancient ecosystems and biodiversity.

Other sources and related topics

  • Amber Coast, Dominican amber, Japanese amber, and Ukrainian amber are other notable sources of amber.
  • These different sources of amber contribute to our understanding of amber's geological distribution.
  • Fossil insects in Baltic amber, including new species and discoveries, are extensively studied.
  • Other fossil organisms in Baltic amber, such as snails and ants, have also been identified.
  • References and additional resources provide further information and research on Baltic amber.

Baltic amber Data Sources

Reference URL
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