Amber is the relic, and in some cases a time capsule of a past that extends as far back as 300 million years. Most amber that is excavated today is roughly 30-95 million years old. The resin composites that are identified to be younger than that are usually of a softer consistency and are referred to as “copal”.
There’s also the fact that amber has been known to harbor the bodies of insects and other animals that were alive way back when the sticky substance was a simple resin.
As the resin made its way slowly down the trunk of a tree, small bugs and animals residing on the tree would sometimes get caught in it. Because of the sticky consistency of the resin, the animal would be entombed in the material, ultimately, solidifying along with the resin.
Over time, that resin is hardened into amber. Those insects, small animals, and other debris like feathers and leaves, can now be found perfectly preserved within the amber stone.
People have long been fascinated with amber and the multitude of discoveries of the petrified remains found inside amber stones. Many of the insects, plants, and animals found in amber are extinct today.
Scientists have developed methods to allow them to open the amber and extract the specimen within for further testing and research. This ancient look into our distant past brings us one step closer to better understanding what life was like hundreds of millions of years ago.