Scientists from the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and the University of Vienna have found the largest flower discovered so far in amberalmost three centimeters in diameter.
This flower and its pollen were enclosed and preserved in resin about 38-34 million years ago and is about three times larger than most floral inclusions.
Amber is like a time capsule: it preserves millions of years of plant and animal inclusions in incredible detail.. Plant inclusions in amber are especially rare, but extremely valuable to science. They make it possible to reconstruct the vegetation during various periods of the Earth’s history and to understand the flora of the so-called amber forests.
The floral inclusion in this study is encased in Baltic amber and comes from the largest amber deposit in the world, located in Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea coast. The flower was described over 150 years ago as Stewartia, a genus belonging to the tea family (Theaceae). However, in subsequent years, this was considered doubtful.
In general, flower amber inclusions are a few millimeters in size and only rarely larger than 10mm. It is still unknown which processes can limit the size of plant inclusions. However, it is suggested that, depending on the surface tension and viscosity of the resin, smaller plant organs are likely to be retained more easily than larger ones.
The scientists discovered numerous grains of pollen shed by the stamens of the amber flower. “It is very exceptional to find such a large flower in amber, with the stamens at the perfect point to be just open to release their pollen while the flower was held in the resin,” says Eva-Maria Sadowski, a researcher at the Berlin museum, in a statement. and co-author of the finding.
Pollen was carefully removed from the inclusion with a scalpel, and the scientists then examined the pollen grains under a scanning electron microscope. “Only extremely high magnification allows us to see morphological details of pollen grains, which are only a few micrometers in size,” adds Christa Hofmann.
The characteristics of the pollen and the inclusion of the flower helped scientists assign this fossil to an Asian member of the genus Symplocos, containing trees and shrubs of the “sweetleaf” family (Symplocaceae). It is the first fossil record of this genus in Baltic amber, but Symplocos was not the only plant in the Baltic amber forest.
Between 34 and 38 million years ago, this forest was home to numerous plant species whose modern relatives are also restricted to East and Southeast Asia.
Precious find of a nine-year-old girl while playing on the beach
What was a Christmas vacation for a family ended up making news in the world, after one of its members found a megalodon tooth on the beacha 16 meter long sea monster extinct for more than three million years.
This is Molly Sampson, just nine years old, who made such an important discovery while she was with her family on a beach in Calvert Beach, in Maryland, United States.
According to the medium BBCthe girl Molly Sampson indicated to her mother that she was “looking for Meg -megalodon-“, with water up to her knees.
About the tooth belonging to the shark species otodus megalodonnow extinct, was stated to be five inches long (12.7 centimeters), as big as a hand.
Alicia Sampson, mother of the minor, shared the news of the discovery on Facebook, where she explained that Molly Sampson and her sister Natalie wanted to “go hunting shark teeth like professionals” and, for this, as a Christmas present they had asked for fishing boots insulated chest.
Therefore, on December 25, they addressed to the shores of the nearby Calvert cliffs with his father Bruce, already with his gifts.
The found tooth was eventually brought to the Calvert Marine Museum, whose paleontology department confirmed the shark’s identity and congratulated the nine-year-old on the impressive find.
“People shouldn’t get the impression that teeth like this are common along the Calvert Cliffs,” said Stephen Godfrey, the museum’s curator of paleontology. who described the find as “once in a lifetime.”
“And he didn’t have to dig into the cliffs to find the tooth, was in the water”, added the curator.
*With information from Europa Press.