Three leaves, a root, many Bryophites with 13 insects

Amber Fossil Plants (Byrophita and Magnoliophyta) and Insects

Geological Time: Pleistocene to Pliocene

Size: 63 by 32 mm, 17.3 grams

Fossil Site: Andes mountains in Colombia

This amber may be particularly appealing for those interested in the Kingdom of life, Plantae, since it contains several representatives of Embryophyta, or Bryophytes for short, progeny of some of the oldest plants on Earth. Additionally, it contains 3 beautiful leaves of 20, 10 and 13 mm length, an ostensible root that is 19 mm long. Perhaps the most stunning floral inclusion is a Bryophite that measures some 22 mm. Throw in 13 insects, 2 Alates (the winged, sexual form of termites), a wasp, and the rest Dipterans, and you have one stunning piece of amber. This amber measuring 63 by 32 mm is itself a plant fossil that has captured much of the dynamic interaction of life in an ancient rainforest.

Bryophytes (or, mosses) are embryophyte plants that, despite living on land, have no vascular to circulate liquids. They neither flower nor produce seeds, reproducing via spores. They can grow in a wide range of environments and are poikilohydric: when the environment dries so does the plant, remaining dormant while dry but recovering rapidly when wetted.

The more you look at this specimen with a loupe, the more facinating it becomes.

click pictures to enlarge


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