Mosquito with other insect in Dominican Amber

Miocene, 15 to 20 MYA
Location: Dominican Republic

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This 15 to 20 million year old mosquito was frozen in time, fossilized in amber and collected in the Dominican Republic!

Amber forms from fossilized tree resin that has hardened over time. This mosquito most likely got trapped in the tree resin, and became fossilized along with it. As depicted in the movie Jurassic Park, DNA can be carefully extracted from fossils preserved in amber like this one. Unfortunately though, DNA breaks down after a few million years, so unlike Jurassic Park, dinosaur DNA has yet to be discovered. 

Most amber has a hardness between 2.0 and 2.5 on the Mohs scale, leaving it quite fragile. It can occur in a range of colors, from whitish to pale yellow to almost black in appearance. The oldest amber dates to the Upper Carboniferous, or about 320 million years ago. By the early Cretaceous it becomes far more abundant and found in correlation with insects.

Along with the mosquito, other small insects and plant matter may be found petrified within this amber, with each fossil being completely unique. Larger "inclusions" of this kind are known to give important insight into prehistoric life, due to their incredible state of preservation.

The specimen you will receive was found in the Dominican Republic and dates to the Miocene, or about 15 to 20 million years ago. 


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