Fossilized mother spider protecting her young is found preserved in 99-million-year-old amber


    Often used in jewelry, Amber is fossilized tree resin—the oldest of which dates back more than 300 million years.

    In recent years the Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar, formerly Burma, has yielded numerous finds.

    In January 2017, researchers discovered a 100-million-year-old insect preserved in amber which bore a passing resemblance to ET. 

    Its features, including triangular head and bulging eyes, were so unique that researchers placed in into a new scientific order, Aethiocarenodea.

    The eyes on the side of its head would have given the insect the ability to see at almost 180 degrees simply by turning its head.

    In June 2017, researchers revealed a stunning hatchling trapped in amber, which they believe was just a few days old when it fell into a pool of sap oozing from a conifer tree in Myanmar.

    The incredible find showed the head, neck, wing, tail and feet of a now extinct bird which lived at the time of the dinosaurs, 100 million years ago, in unprecedented detail.

    Researchers nicknamed the young enantiornithine ‘Belone,’ after the Burmese name for the amber-hued Oriental skylark.

    The hatchling belonged to a group of birds known as the ‘opposite birds’ that lived alongside the ancestors of modern bird. 

    Archaeologists say they were actually more diverse and successful – until they died out with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

    They had major differences from today’s birds, and their shoulders and feet had grown quite differently to those of modern birds. 

    In December 2017, experts discovered incredible ancient fossils of a tick grasping a dinosaur feather and another – dubbed ‘Dracula’s terrible tick’ – swollen after gorging on blood.

    The first evidence that dinosaurs had bloodsucking parasites living on them was found preserved in 99 million-year-old Burmese amber.

    The newly-discovered tick dates from the Cretaceous period of 145 to 66 million years ago.

    In 2021, researchers announced they had discovered a new species of land snail from 99 million years ago preserved in amber moments after giving birth.

    The gastropod’s ‘marshmallow-like’ soft body of Cretatortulosa gignens was preserved in the sap, as were her five offspring. 

    The same week, scientists in Myanmar announced another the discovery of a new species of ancient lizard trapped in amber at roughly the same time. 

    ‘Oculudentavis naga’ was confirmed as a lizard following CT scans analyzing its skull and partial skeleton.




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