Sunday, April 26, 2015

Great-great-great and then some

Sorting through Laurie's collection of antiques, I found an ant. At least, I think it's an ant. It's all scrunched up, in the centre of a blob of amber made into a pendant.

Amber drop, 4 centimetres tall.

I count 3 legs on this side.

I remember buying this; the dealer said it was a spider. We brought it home and Laurie put it away carefully and I forgot about it until now. It doesn't look like a spider to me, now that I look at it.

Here's the back side of the pendant:

That paler bit could possibly be a spider abdomen, but it looks more like an ant gaster.

What do you think?

And I wonder how old it is; whether it still has relatives in this modern world. Poor lonely ant! (If it is an ant.)

From Wikipedia, I found a range of possible ages and sources; I have no idea where this piece fits, though.

 Amber becomes abundant long after the Carboniferous, in the Early Cretaceous, 150 million years ago, when it is found in association with insects. The oldest amber with arthropod inclusions comes from the Levant, from Lebanon and Jordan. This amber, roughly 125–135 million years old, is considered of high scientific value, providing evidence of some of the oldest sampled ecosystems. (From Wikipedia: Amber; Geological record.)

The Baltic region is home to the largest known deposit of amber, called Baltic amber or succinite. It dates from 44 million years ago (Eocene). It has been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. (And Wikipedia: Baltic amber.)

1 comment:

  1. Either way it's a treasure because of its age and sentimental value. - Margy


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