Amber History and Lore


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Gierlowska's lizard from the collection of the Gdansk Amber Museum, Gdansk, Poland.
Amber is probably best known for its insect and other types of inclusions. Millions of years ago, when amber oozed from countless plants, the substance acted as a sticky trap for ants, bees, termites, and other insects. Flower parts, leaves, and pine needles are also typical amber inclusions, along with gas bubbles.

Amber containing larger animals like scorpions, snails, frogs, and lizards can be very valuable—especially if the animal “inclusions” are preserved intact.

Fossilized Extinct Lizard
The fossilized extinct lizard trapped in this piece of amber from the Dominican Republic is over a million years old. - Dr. Edward J. Gubelin
Insects embedded in amber formed the basis of the movie “Jurassic Park.” The story centered around the cloning of dinosaurs from DNA found in dinosaur blood sucked up by prehistoric mosquitoes that were subsequently preserved in amber. The movie generated great interest in the gem.