Fossil Amber from the Time of Tyrannosaurus rex

So you want to clone a dinosaur from the DNA found in insects trapped in Amber? You can forget about using Dominican or Baltic Amber, it is too young! This is authentic amber from the Cretaceous Period (Approx. 65 Million Years old or older). This amber was found in Harding County, South Dakota during our annual dinosaur expedition digs. (search item 852) The layer that this was found in appears to have been an area that had been burned 65+ Million Years ago... The small pieces of amber are embedded in the layered matrix. Fossil plants consisting of leaves and stems were found in the same dig site as the amber. The only thing that has been done to these specimens is the ash-laden matrix was stabilized with cyanoacrylate glue. None of this amber has been polished to see if there are any insect inclusions. This is a very rare offering!

This is a typical example of amber from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota. The Hell Creek Formation amber is mainly found in shaley zones with interlaminated lignite. Compared to Tertiary-age amber, the Cretaceous-age Hell Creek amber is less abundant and much smaller.

There are some claims that a genera in the Araucariaceae are the source flora for much of the Hell Creek Formation amber. Living examples of this ancient plant group are the Monkey-Puzzle tree and the Norfolk Island Pine, although no detailed scientific study of the geochemistry of the Formations fossil sap has been done. It is quite possible that other taxa are also sources. Many scientific discoveries from the Hell Creek Formation still await paleontologists and geologists.

Preliminary Notes on the First Recorded Amber Insects from the Hell Creek Formation

By Robert DePalma, Frederich Cichocki, Manuel Dierick, Robert Feeney

From The Journal of Paleontological Sciences JPS. C.10.0001, 2010

Insects, the most diverse of living organisms today, inhabit virtually every terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem on earth. Yet the strata of the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, although deposited in a luxuriant subtropical biome during the initial diversification of flowering plants, until now have revealed practically no insect fossils. Here, we provide a preliminary report on the discovery of the first amber insects from the Hell Creek Formation. This well-preserved assemblage of amber insects includes members of the Diptera (Suborders Nematocera and Brachycera) and Odonata (Suborder Zygoptera). The discovery will enable future studies to develop a better paleoecological understanding of the Hell Creek that includes the essential role of insects.

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Fossil Amber from the Time of Tyrannosaurus rex 

authentic fossil amber
less than 1/4 inch
Item 2568 

Category: Authentic Fossils
Phylum: Plants
Class: Not Specified


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Fossil Amber from the Time of Tyrannosaurus rex

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