Amber Inclusions

The sap flowing from trees was a deadly trap for animals living in and visiting the Eocene forest.
Flying insects sat on drops of the oozing sap. The less mobile inhabitants of the forest were caught by the flow of the stream. Plants could be entrapped by drops of sap falling to the ground, while jumping animals would step or fall into sap puddles.

The creatures which remain trapped in chunks of amber are called inclusions. Preserved for 40 million years they delight connoisseurs with their beauty and are a rewarding subject of scientific studies. The animals found in amber are almost exclusively invertebrates. The only vertebrates to survive fully intact were lizards. Mammals and birds also left their mark in the form of hair and feathers. The insect world in the Eocene amber forest was dominated by small two-winged flies.

The amber trees were often visited by ants and aphids, which probably traversed the tree trunks in search of food. Other inhabitants of the Eocene amber forest were beetles and caddis-flies.
Termites can also be found in amber. In modern times, these insects are found only in warm climates.
A much rarer victim of the Eocene sap were mayflies, which only lived one day.
The insects found in amber are usually of adult forms. The less mobile larvae are found much less frequently.

Among arachnids the most frequently found are mites. However, due to their microscopic size, they usually remain unnoticed. Spiders often fell prey to the amber trap. Some of them can be found in amber together with their prey.

Long-legged harvestmen were able to escape from the amber trap, leaving only their legs as evidence. Fortunately, we have also been able to find complete specimens. In Eocene resin remained not only details of morphological construction. Exploring amber, we can be witnesses of important events. Based on inclusions found today, we can infer what the form of resin was in the Eocene. It was probably very liquid, and could sink very little mites in whole.

Only a small part of the world 40 million years ago remains preserved in amber. What remains, however, allows us to recreate the amber forest with a good deal of precision. Perhaps someday, thanks to these silent witnesses, we will be able to discover all of the secrets of amber.