Flugsaurier-Kopf im Bernstein! - Head of a Pterosaur in amber!

Bernstein bezeichnet den seit Jahrtausenden bekannten und insbesondere im Ostseeraum weit verbreiteten klaren bis undurchsichtigen gelben Schmuckstein aus fossiliem Harz. Damit ist überwiegend nur ein bestimmtes fossiles Harz gemeint, dieser Bernstein im engeren Sinne ist die Bernsteinart mit dem wissenschaftlichen Namen Succinit. Die Bezeichnungen Succinit und Baltischer Bernstein werden oft synonym verwendet, da Succinit den weitaus überwiegenden Teil des Baltischen Bernsteins ausmacht. Die anderen fossilen Harze im Baltischen Bernstein stammen von unterschiedlichen Pflanzenarten und werden auch als „Bernstein im weiteren Sinne“ bezeichnet. Manche kommen mit dem Succinit zusammen vor, z. B. die schon lange aus den baltischen Vorkommen bekannten Bernsteinarten Gedanit, Glessit, Beckerit und Stantienit. Diese werden auch als akzessorische Harze bezeichnet. Andere fossile Harze verschiedener botanischer Herkunft bilden hingegen eigenständige Lagerstätten unterschiedlichen geologischen Alters, wie z. B. der Dominikanische Bernstein und der Libanon-Bernstein. Von der großen Gruppe der Kopale   gehören nur die fossilen, aus der Erde gegrabenen Vertreter (z. B. der „Madagaskar-Kopal“) entsprechend der Definition trotz ihres geologisch jungen Alters zu den Bernsteinen. Der älteste bekannte Bernstein stammt aus etwa 310 Millionen Jahre alten Steinkohlen. Seit dem Paläozoikum ist das Harz damaliger Bäume als feste, amorphe (nicht kristalline) Substanz erhalten geblieben. Für die Wissenschaft, insbesondere für die Paläontologie, ist Bernstein mit Einschlüssen, den so genannten Inklusen, von Interesse. Diese Einschlüsse sind Fossilien von kleinen Tieren oder Pflanzenteilen, deren Abdrücke, in seltenen Fällen auch Gewebereste, im Bernstein seit Jahrmillionen perfekt erhalten sind. Schon seit der Steinzeit wurde Bernstein als Schmuck verwendet, und die Römer der Antike wussten den Baltischen Bernstein sehr zu schätzen und nannten ihn "das Gold des Nordens".

Im Bernstein eingeschlossene Trauermücke. / Sciaridae in amber. (Creative Commons)

Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions. Amber occurring in coal seams is also called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within New Zealand coal seams. Fossil resins from Europe fall into two categories, the famous Baltic ambers and another that resembles the Agathis group. Fossil resins from the Americas and Africa are closely related to the modern genus Hymenaea, while Baltic ambers are thought to be fossil resins from Sciadopityaceae family plants that used to live in north Europe. The abnormal development of resin in living trees (succinosis) can result in the formation of amber. Impurities are quite often present, especially when the resin dropped onto the ground, so the material may be useless except for varnish-making. Such impure amber is called firniss. Such inclusion of other substances can cause amber to have an unexpected color. Pyrites may give a bluish color. Bony amber owes its cloudy opacity to numerous tiny bubbles inside the resin. mber is a unique preservational mode, preserving otherwise unfossilizable parts of organisms; as such it is helpful in the reconstruction of ecosystems as well as organisms; the chemical composition of the resin, however, is of limited utility in reconstructing the phylogenetic affinity of the resin producer. Amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was secreted. Insects, spiders and even their webs, annelids, frogs, crustaceans, bacteria and amoebae, marine microfossils, wood, flowers and fruit, hair, feathers and other small organisms have been recovered in Cretaceous ambers (deposited ca 130 million years ago). The oldest amber to bear fossils (mites) is from the Carnian (Triassic, 230 million years ago) of north-eastern Italy. The Romans of the ancient world called the Baltic Amber "the gold of the north".


Eine Ameise im Baltischen Bernstein. / An ant inside Baltic amber. (Creative Commons) - Säugetierhaare / Hair of a mammal (

Moderkäfer und mehr

 Inkluse(n): Moderkäfer "Latridiidae", Blattlaus, Mücke
 Größe der Inkluse(n): Moderkäfer: ca. 1,3 mm
 Größe d. Bernsteins: ca. 36 x 17 x 9 mm
 Fundort: Baltikum, Jantarny (ehemals Palmnicken) bei Königsberg/Kaliningrad
 Stratigrafie: Tertiär, Eozän
 Alter: ca. 28 bis 54 Millionen Jahre



Of course it is preferred to have a full specimen perfectly preserved in Amber and as creatures get larger and larger it becomes harder to expect to find the whole animal in amber so fossil collectors look for parts of animals in the amber. Perhaps the most common animal parts found in amber are feathers and lizard/snake/skink/newt skin. Many bird and animal heads have been found in burmite amber but their condition is often poor with decaying animal fogging the animal often beyond recognition unless special lighting is used. Burmite is a variety of amber. A generally deep red amber from Burma. An amber occurring in the upper Hukong Valley, Burma/Myanmar. Differs from ordinary amber in that it doesn't contain succinic acid. Age: Cretaceous.

On the first picture (aerial  view of the top of the head) shown you can clearly see the pterosaur teeth splayed outwards into the amber.

The second photo is a close up picture of the pterosaur's beak showing its last supper caught in the spout.



Abstract: Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod–vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

Picture: Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick entangled in a feather. a Photograph of the Burmese amber piece (Bu JZC-F18) showing a semicomplete pennaceous feather. Scale bar, 5 mm. b Detail of the nymphal tick in dorsal view and barbs (inset in a). Scale bar, 1 mm. c Detail of the tick’s capitulum (mouthparts), showing palpi and hypostome with teeth (arrow). Scale bar, 0.1 mm. d Detail of a barb. Scale bar, 0.2 mm. e Drawing of the tick in dorsal view indicating the point of entanglement. Scale bar, 0.2 mm. f Detached barbule pennulum showing hooklets on one of its sides (arrow in a indicates its location but in the opposite side of the amber piece). Scale bar, 0.2 mm