A Tour of the Ancient Life Still Trapped in Amber

July 30, 2014 6:59 PM

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Fifty years ago, an entomologist named Milton Sanderson discovered a massive trove of amber in the Dominican Republic. The ancient resin preserved a 20-million-year-old tropical ecosystem in stunning detail, complete with an amorous pair of flies that were caught in flagrante.

But despite the exciting initial findings, most of the 160-pound Sanderson amber collection was shelved and forgotten. It wasn’t even brought out of storage when Jurassic Park made amber-fied insects a hot commodity, what with Mr. DNA’s promise that the specimens could make “a baby dinosawwwr” [sic]...

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