Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cool science site of the day

Stories in the Amber

Tens of millions of years ago, a tropical forest existed on what today is the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. In a matter of seconds but repeated thousands of times over, a wide variety of animals and plants became trapped in resin produced by a single tree of that forest, a canopy species known as the algarrobo. Over the ensuing eons, some of that resin became amber, preserving a representative sample of the primeval forest's denizens. While virtually all of those organisms are now extinct, close relatives living today provide behavioral and ecological clues that help tell stories in the amber. Here, take a look at a striking sample of flora and fauna discovered in amber from the Dominican Republic, dated to between 15 and 40 million years ago.
These images, frozen in time for millions of years, are amazing. They are a window into a time long past and a vivid connection to the history of life.

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